Skip to main content

Full text of "Historical record to the close of the nineteenth century of Rockland County, New York"

See other formats


^v .^ ^yj^^^. ^, .^ .^^^ ^^ -^^ W||X)^/ /'--^^ .,gP/ ^^ 



«' a 



P^^o 



i. • o > 



■•: %/ -^^^ \/ .«■- \.** --M-- 







''^\ '^^"WS ^^^"^"-o ''^^' 0^"%. •^Tp'"* ,<^'\ 














• • » \ * 









^"^ 






*^ * • . ° ' .V 
















°^ - 



^Q-n^ 









. ?>:■'■■ h. 



A .5, 






"^^ 






a' 

O » " " ^ 













< o 



■/^ll' 












^°-^. 



.■:i •« 

• 



/ 



^^ 



^o >' 















^oV .-■-■as- ^-^0* »^-.>->J ^^ -^-ov* _,^jv-.-., -p^Q^ 



A 







jP -n... 






>^^ A^ '■^^' 




^'--^ 




"-■^^ 




/f:^ /^^^ipc^^.^^ 



HISTORICAL RECORD 



TO THE CLOSE OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY 



OF 



Motkl^n^ Couttttr^ 



NEW YORK. 



ILLUSTRATED. 



Edited by Arthur S. Tompkins. 



NYACK, N. Y. 

VAN DEUSEN & JOYCE, PUBLISHERS 

1902. 



77^7 • 



PRESS OF 

Star Publishing Company of Nvack, N. Y, 

1902. 



PREFACE. 



PREFACE. 



The essential pre-reqiiisite of a rational patriotism is an intelligent 
acquaintance with the history of one's country. Macanley, the historian, 
has said that the history of a country is best told in a record of the lives 
of its people. To supply a means towards making that acquaintance 
through all available sources is the cherished object of this work. Hence 
the manifest interest of our citizens demand a clearer record of the early 
days of this part of southern New York than we now possess. There- 
fore, in the following pages it is designed to give a complete narrative — 
m as few words and as simple form as possible — relating to the early 
liistory, with a brief sketch of the character, habits and religious views 
of the aborigines and particularly the names, occupancy, changes, organ- 
ization and progress of the civil and religious bodies of the county of 
IJocklaud from its first settlement up to the present time. 

The history of what is now the county of Rockland, formerly part of 
the county of Orange, and the early history of this county after its sep- 
ai-ation from Orange county is as interesting as that of any county in the 
State. It is rich and teeming with events of the Revolutionary period, 
which should be read with the keenest interest by all who are to-day 
enjoying the fiiiits of the sacrifices and achievements of that period. 
This county is one of the five or six coimties of the State that are directly 
and closely identified with the great struggle for independence. The 
British foi'ces and the Continental Anuy camped and marched and 
fought over much of the ten-itory of Rockland county. 

In the following pages we have endeavored to give an accurate 
description of the important part which this county has had in tlie build- 
ing and preservation of the Republic. For the historical part of the 
work valuable information was selected from the works of eminent ^vrit- 
ers. With a due acknowledgement for these historical facts thus 



PREFACE. 

selected, for the "Bench and Bar" of the county, by Hon. Alouzo 
"Wheeler; the Medical Profession, by N. B. Bayley, M. D.; the different 
to^viis in the county, by J. Bogert Sufleni, Esq., District Attorney 
Thomas H. Lee, Aaron VanKeuren, Esq., E. H. Fenton, Esq., Emma K. 
Odell, Capt. Charles M. O'Blenis and others, for the valuable informa- 
tion of the religious bodies of the county, furnished by the various 
clmrcli officials, and for the many incidents of interest not hei'etofore 
published, given by our venerable and esteemed citizens, thanks are 
hereby rendered. 

I have devoted as much of my time and attention to the general 
supervision of the editorial department of the work as my other duties 
Would permit, and with a consciousness that the greatest vigilance can- 
not wholly e.xchule errors, this work is respectfully submitted. 

Nyack, July 15th, 1902. - 

ARTHUR S. TOMPKINS. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTEE I. 
A GENERAL SURVEY. 
The Subject — Location and Surroundings — Prominent Features of the 
Landscape — The Stories They Tell — Boundaries — Principal Industries 
— Poi^ulat ion IT 

CHAPTER II. 
PREHISTORIC CURRENTS. 
Geolog-ical Formation — Erratic P.oulders and Other Drift Deposits — 
Scratched Surfaces — The Palisades a River of Lava — Features of the 
Landscape 24 

CHAPTER III. 

DISCOVERY OP ROCKLAND COUNTY. 
Navigators Who Came Before Henry Hudson — The Half Moon's Arrival 
in the Tappan Zee — The First Red Man Slain — Early Traders — Era 
of Colonization Begun 30 

CHAPTER IV. 

THE ABORIGINES. 
Tribes of the Lower Hudson Valley— The Tapjjans and Haverstraws— 
Characteristics and Mode of Life — Bountifully Supplied by Nature — 
Principles of Government and Evidences of Religion 3S 

CHAPTER V. 

INDIAN WARS. 

Encroachments of the Dutch — The Colony at Vriesendael — Consequences 
of Stealing an Indian's Beaver Coat — Tappans Driven from Home by 
Jlohawks— Massacres at Pavonia by Dutch Soldiers— Allied Tribes 
Take Revenge — Vriesendael Destroyed 50 

CHAPTER VI. 

APPORTIONING THE LANDS. 
Second Attempt at Colonization— The English Seize the Province— The 
Christian I'atented Lands of Haverstraw— Town of Orange— .\ppor- 
tioniug the Lands — Beginnings of Government — List of Pioneers— Life 
in the Wilderness — Colonel MaeGregorie BO 

CHAPTEE VII. 

COLONIAL GOVERNMENT. 
Courts and Court Houses— Precincts Established— Names of Officers and 
Representatives— First Roads— Colonial Prices — Religious Influences 
— Family Customs— General and Local Laws— Public Improvement.s — 
French and Indian War — Militia System 70 



CONTENTS. 
CHAPTEIl VIII. 

THE ARENA OF STRIFE. 
The Oraugetown Kesolutions — Fortifying' the Hiylilands — The Militia — 
Companies Raised for the Continental Line — Sons of Oran<;fe in the 
Invasion of Canada — The Shore Gua«l'— Otiieers of Companies — South- 
ern Orange Bears tlie Rrunt — ^The First Alarm — " Battle of Haver- 
straw " — A Naval Fight — Duty Calls — Activities of the Tories 90 

CHAPTEE IX. 

THE FALL OF THE HIGHLAND FORTS. 
Re-AppcaraiK'O of the Enemy in the Spring — Militia Called Out — Reluetant 
to Obey — British Plans — Sir Henry Clinton's Armada Arrives — Put- 
nam Deceived and Governor Clinton Overwhelmed — Heroic Resistance 
by the Sons of Orange and Ulster 110 

CHAPTEE X. 

" THE FORT'S OUR OWN." 
New Defences in the Highlands — Massacre at " Old Ta])i)an " — Petition 
from Citizens — Stony I'oint Seized by the British — ilain Continental 
Army Arrives — Stony I'oint Stormed and Recaptured by Wayne's 
Light Infantry — The Battle Described — Fate of the Lady Washington 
— The Fort Abandoned by the Americans — Evacuated by the British.. 121 

CHAPTEE XL 

THE WAGES OF TREASON. 
General Arnold Assigned to Command West Point — He Conspires to 
Betray the Fortress — Intercoxirse With .Josliiia Hett Smith — His Mid- 
night Meeting With Ma.ior Andre — At the Smith Mansion — .\rrest of 
Andre — Plight of Arnold — Smith Acquitted — Court Martial and Execu- 
tion of the Spy 138 

CHAPTEE XII. 

SOLDIERS OF THE REVOLUTION. 
The Last Campaign — The French Army — Members of the Haverstraw 
Regiment of Militia — The Continentals — Members of Capt. Robert 
■Tolmston's Company — Of Capt. Amos Hutchins' Company — Officers of 
. the Orangetown Regiment 138 

CHAPTEE XIII. 

CLOSE OF THE WAR. 
Readjustment of County Lines — Increase of Population — Militia Com- 
panies Before the Civil War — Regiments Organized During the Civil 
War — Transportation — County Officers 16s 

CHAPTER XIV.— Rockland County Medical Profession, 182. CHAPTER XV.— 
Bench and Bar, 329. CHAPTER XVI.— Town of Haverstraw, 373. CHAP- 
TER XVII.— Town of Orangetown, 345. CHAPTER XVIIL— Town of 
Clarkstown, 415. CHAPTER XIX.— Town of Ramapo, 470. CHAPTER 
XX.— Town of Stony Point, 553. 



PART I. 

HISTORICAL. 



HISTORY 

OF 

Rockland County. 



CHAPTEE I. 

A GENERAL SURVEY. 

The Subject — Location and Siirroiinding-s — Prominent Features of the 
Landscape — The Stories They Tell — Boundaries — Princiiial Industries — Popu- 
lation. 

THE County of Rockland, in the State of New York, is the most 
southern of the tier of counties on the west bank of the Hudson 
River. Triangular in fonn, its boundaries on two sides are merely 
straight geographical lines, drawn by the hand of man, but the boundaiy 
marks of tlie third side were set by the Almighty Creator, and adorned 
with many of the most beautiful lineaments in nature. Frontetl by the 
widest reaches of the river and buttressed by a remarkable chain of hills, 
with the Palisades on one hand and the battlements of the Highlands on 
the other, the shore of Rockland County has a character distinct and pic- 
turesque. More precisely, the river side of the county is bounded on the 
south by the State line of jS'ew Jersey and on the north by Poplopen's 
kill, which, where it issues from a deep ravine to unite with the river, 
passes between two famous fortified places of the Revolution, Fort Clin- 
ton and Fort Montgomery. The significance of the name chosen by the 
fathers for their county is apparent upon viewing the wonderful escarp- 
ments of trap-rock that give the riglit bank of the lower Hudson the ap- 
pearance of a far-reaching fortress. But behind this I'ough exterior, on 
the other side of the adamantine curtain, are broad acres of pleasant 
plains and gently rolling country, so that full two-thirds of the total sur- 
face of the coimty is fanning land. The thitnders of the lofty Dunder- 
berg and its rugged companions, which so alarmed the early Dutch nav- 
igators of the "River of the Mountains," have no terrors for those who 
dwell in these peaceful valleys. Against the "Mountain of Thunder" 
the summer showers seem to break, as white-crested billows dash furious- 
ly against a rocky isle at sea, and the first warning of a coming tempest 
is given by the reverberations from its sides. Have you not heard of the 
"little bulbous-buttoned Dutch goblin, in trunk hose and sugar-loaf hat, 



18 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

with speaking trumpet in his hand, which, they say, keeps the Dunder- 
berg," and how "in stonny weather, in the midst of tlie turmoil, the river 
captains can hear him giving orders in low Dutch for the piping np of a 
fresh gust of wind, or the rattling off of another thunderclap?" And, 
"sometimes he has been seen suiTOunded by a crew of little imps in broad 
breeches and short doublets, tumbling head over heels in tlie rack and 
moist, and playing a thousand gambols in the air, or buzzing like a thou- 
sand flies about Antliony's Nose," at which times, 'tis said, the "Iuutv- 
scuri'y" of the storm was always greatest. 

Geographically the Palisades have their beginning in the town of 
Ilaverstraw, where High Tor and Little Tor (or Spire) are like knots in 
the head of the chain. With their feet in the river, they extend south- 
ward for thirty miles or more, but have their greatest magnitude within 
the limits of the ToA\m of Clarkstown, in that titanic buttress known as 
Hook Mountain, behind which, all unsuspected from the river, nestles, 
lovely and tranquil, Rockland Lake. Here and there the great wall is 
cut by gorges, as at Piennont (formerly Tappan Lauding), where the 
Hparkill flows out, and through these openings the river traveler gets 
glimpses and suggestions of what lies beyond. The ridge is narrow, be- 
ing in some places hardly half a mile mde. At its feet, on the river 
side, are heaped the debris of ages upon ages, in the form of rocks that 
have crumbled from the cliffs above, in some places overg^o^vn with 
stunted trees and shiiibbery or climbing vines. On the western side 
the slope, for the most part, is gentle, covered with rich soil and wooded. 
In height the Palisades exceed four hundred feet on the average, but the 
most elevated knob on the Hook is 668 feet above the river. The Dutch 
called it Verdrietigh Hoeck — Tedious or Vexation Point — because here 
they expected to meet adverse winds that would detain their vessels for 
a long time in this part of their course. Curious, stupendous and impres- 
sive, the Palisades are one of the wonders of the Western World. 

In front of Rockland County the Hudson river expands into two 
broad lakes, the lower on© called the Tappan Zee, and the upper one 
Haverstraw Bay. They are separated by Croton Point, a projection 
from the eastern shore nearly two miles in length, at the moiith of the 
Croton river. In former times it was kno^\^l as Teller's Point, and by 
the Indians called "Se-nas-qiia," in honor of Sarah, wife of William 
Teller, who purchased the valuable estate from them for a barrel of rum 
and twelve blankets. Each of the great bays is from two to three miles 



A GENERAL, SURVEY. 19 

across, and they constitute the broadest portions of the Hudson. At the 
head of Haverstraw Bay, on opposite sides, are Stony and Veqjlanck's 
Points, and a little farther north, where the stream narrows again, are 
the abrupt mountain peaks which form the southern gate of the High- 
lands. Near the northern extremity of the county is lona Island, be- 
tween which and Anthony's Nose the river is not more than three- 
eighths of a mile \vide. But the channel is deep, and so swift is the cur- 
rent that the reach is called ''The Race." The island was fifty years ago 
the private estate of Dr. C. W. Grant, who, coming from Newburgh, 
engaged here in the extended propagation of choice fruits. His vine- 
yards covered twenty acres; his fruit trees were thousands in number; 
with eleven propagation houses, he produced plants that were called for 
from all parts of the country. The celebrated lona Grape originated 
here. The Indian name of the island was "Man-a-ha-wagli-kin;" the 
present name ("I-own-a-Island") was bestowed by Dr. Grant. Recently 
purchased by the United States Government, the tract is now being 
equipped as an ammunition station for the Navy; extensive magazines 
and other buildings are in course of erection. 

The Minisceongo, at Grassy Point, and the Sparkill, at Piermont, are 
the only streams of importance which enter the Hudson from Rockland 
County, but the interior is well watered by rivers or creeks that find 
their way to the sea in other directions, notably the Hackensack, which 
has one of its sources in Rockland Lake; the Passaic, the Pearl, the Ram- 
apo and the Mahwah. The largest body Avithin the confines of the coun- 
ty is Rockland Lake. Situated at an elevation above the Hudson of 150 
feet, separated from the river only by a narrow ridge of mountains, and 
surrounded on nearly every side by shores steep and rugged, it is both 
picturesque and remarkable. In form an irregular ellipse, it covers five 
liundred acres, being about half a mile in length and three-quarters of 
a mile at the widest part. Along the eastern margin are extensive ice- 
houses, and the ice harvest in Avinter provides employment for many 
hands. The blocks of ic« begin their journey to the metropolis by be- 
ing lowered down an inclined plane to wharves at the river, Avhence they 
are transported by barges. Portage Lake and Shepherd's Pond, in the 
western corner of the county; Lake Antrim, near Suffem, and Highland 
Lake, in the northerly angle, and the lake at Congers are the only other 
considerable bodies of water in Rockland. 

No other reach of river or stretch of country is so filled with mem- 



20 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

orics of the long stmgglo for American Independence as is the Rockhnid 
County shore of the Hudson. Every' bokl headland, sheltered cove and 
iiniting beach has contributed something to the history of Amei'ica, or 
can tell a story of romance or tradition. The Highland forts speak rev- 
erently the names of the patriot fanners who died in their defence. Ev- 
ery stone and breastwork in what wa.s finally an impregnable chain of 
fortifications extending from Stony Point northward to Plum Point, 
was a monument of humble, disinterested devotion by the standing sol- 
diers of this valley, who without hope of pay reared them and defied their 
oppressors to take them. The batteries, forts and redoiibts which they 
constructed, the booms and chains which they stretched from shore to 
shore, saved the States from being cut asunder and separately conquered. 
The very iron in the chains that literally bound together the two sections 
of the young republic was taken out of the veins of the adjacent coun- 
ties. Against Stony Point Mad Anthony Wayne led his Continentals 
to victory, first assembling them in the passes behind Bear Mountain and 
the Dunderberg. In the little cove on the north side of the rocky pro 
montory was the King's Ferry landing, the ferry being the connecting 
link between New England and the colonies west and south of the Hud- 
son. Here the French army crossed when going to Yorkto\vn, and wlion 
it returned. To Treason Hill came Arnold and Andre to mature their 
plan for the surrender of West Point, and yonder, where the Haverstraw 
mountain range comes down to meet the tide, Andre, escorted by Joshua 
Hett Smith, landed by a small boat from the British sloop-of-war Vul- 
ture. In the thicket close by he met his "Gustavris," and with him con- 
spired until tlie day broke; when it being too late for the British Adju- 
tant-General to return to the vessel unobser\'ed by the shore guard, ho 
-was persuaded by the traitor to accept protection until the following 
night. Disregarding the orders of his General, Andre passed within the 
American lines with his "protector," and never came out alive. Forty- 
one years later another British man-of-war came up the river to the Tap- 
pan Zee, and a commission sent by the British Government, debarking 
at Sneden's Landing, proceeded to Tappan, where they exhimied the 
bones of Andre and carried them back to England. 

At Verplanck's Point occurred the grandest international military 
review in the historj^ of the nation. On August 31, 1782, for the pur- 
pose of recei^^ng and tendering a welcome to the French anny, then on 
its return from Virginia, the forces constituting the Main Continental 



A GENERAL, SURVEY. 21 

army moved by land and water from their separate cantonments and sta- 
tions in and near the Highlands and encamped at Verplanck's Point. 
The American forces numbered abont eight thousand men, and for the 
first time since the beginning of the war were decently uniformed, well 
armed, properly equipped and camped in tents of regular model. Six 
years of service in the field had made them trained veterans. All the 
tents were immediately decorated with laurel, evergreens and branches 
of trees, and the camp presented a picturesque and beautiful appearance. 
The French ti-oops arrived at Stony Point on September 14, being salut- 
ed with cannonry and hailed with cheers by their allies on the farther 
shore. After crossing in boats furnished by the Americans, the French 
column marched through the American lines, receiving every mark of 
honor from Washington's men, and went into camp a short distance 
away. General Washington and his officers reviewed the French army 
on October 1, and the next day the French officers reviewed the Ameri- 
can forces. A fortnight later eight battalions picked from the Continen- 
tal troops were maneuvred before the officers of the two armies. An 
eye-witness recorded that several of the French officers, who had seen 
troops of different European nations, bestowed encomiums and applause 
on our army, saying that they had seen no troops superior to the Amer- 
icans. The Americans bestowed every courtesy and attention upon the 
French soldiers, who had aided them in throwing off the British yoke. 
On October 22 the French legions marched away for Boston, and there 
embarked for home. 

Until 1798 the territory now embraced in Rockland County formed 
part of Orange. By act of the Legislature, Rockland was then set off 
and bounds established as follows : "All that tract of land in the county 
of Orange lying northwest of a line beginning at the mouth of Poplo- 
pen's kill, on Hiulson's river, and running from thence to the southeast- 
ermost corner of the farm of Stephen Sloat, and then along the south 
bounds of this farm to the southwest comer thereof, and then on the 
same course to the bounds of the State of New Jersey, shall be and is 
hereby erected into a separate county, and shall be called and known by 
the name of Orange;" and, "all that part of the said county of Orange 
lying southward of the above described line shall be erected into a sepa- 
rate county, and shall be called and known by the name of Rockland." 
The Act of April 3, 1801, gives the line between the two counties as 
"from the middle of Hudson's river west to the mouth of Poplopen's 



22 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

kill, and from thenc« on a direct course to the east end of the mill dam 
now or late of Michael Weiman across the Eamapough river, and from 
thence a direct covirse to the twenty-mile stone standing in the said divi- 
sion line between this State and the State of New Jersey." The original 
Orange County was one of the first twelve into which the Province was 
divided in 1C83, and extended "from the limits or bounds of East and 
West Jersey, on the west side of Hudson's river, along the said river to 
Murderer's creek, or bounds of the coiinty of Ulster; and westward into 
the woods as far as the Delaware river." The act which separated Rock- 
land from Orange also set off the towns of New Windsor, Newburgh, 
AVallkill, Montgomery and Deerpark from the county of Ulster and an- 
nexed them to the county of Orange. The history of Rockland County, 
therefore, in Colonial and Revolutionary^ times, was identical with that 
of Orange. The first town or precinct to be organized in the county was 
the town of Orange (Orangeto^\^l), in 1686, and in 1719 the precinct of 
llaverstraw was formed. 

The town divisions of the county are now five in number, namely: 
Orangetown, Clarkstown, Haverstraw, Ramapo and Stony Point. The 
county capital is at New City, in the town of Clarkstown, and the largest 
centers of population are Nyack and Haverstraw villages. Although 
Rockland County contains no incorporated city, there are a large num- 
ber of villages, for the most part handsomely laid out and kept, the cen- 
ters for many fine estates. Omng to the proximity of the metropolis, 
it is convenient and agreeable for many gentlemen whose place of bus 
iness is in the city to have their home in this county. Facilities for trav- 
el and transportation are supplied by the river and a number of railroads. 
Regailar lines of steamboats call daily at the principal river towns. The 
West Shore Railroad passes through the county north and south, between 
Tappan and lona Island, and by tunnel through the Haverstraw moun- 
tain range; north of Haverstraw the line follows the river shore.Other 
roads are the Erie and the Piermont branch, the Northern Railroad of 
New Jersey, with Nyack as the nort.hem terminus, and the New Jersey 
and New York, tenninating at Haverstraw. 

One of the largest industries of the county, brick making, has its 
center on the shore of Haverstraw Bay, where great beds of clay are 
found overtopped ^vith sand. For tliree miles the river is lined ^\^th 
brick sheds and yards, and the face of nattire has been sadly scarred 
by long continued excavating for material. Haverstraw has l)een the 



A GENERAL SURVEY. 23 

leader in this industry for tlie whole country, both in invention and pro- 
duction. At Garnerville are the Rockland print works, one of the larg- 
est establishments of the kind in the State. The prosperity of the group 
of villages on this bay can be judged in part from the growth of the vil- 
lage of West Havei"straw, which in the last decade increased from a pop- 
ulation of 180 to 2,078. The section shows marked improvement in its 
residential features.. In Havei-straw village this is particularly notice- 
able in the vicinity of the West Shore railroad station. Another large 
industry of the county is at Tomkins Cove, where immense limestone 
deposits and fine facilities for shipping are found in combination. The 
extensive business of the Tomkins Cove Stone Company, begiin here in 
1837, mth its quarries, kilns, crushing-works and barges, gives employ- 
ment to many hands. Xyack, originally the principal market town and 
commercial port for the co\inty, with turnpikes extending into the back 
country, has become in the last half centuiy an important manufactur- 
ing center, with a variety of products, notably shoes, boats and man- 
ufactures of iron. At Ramapo and Hillbum are large ii'on works, and 
at Pearl River the Dexter folding machine works. 

The population of the county increased from 35,162, in 1890, to 38,- 
298, at the last census, in 1900. In 1880 the population was 27,G90. 
The complete figures are as follows : 

1900. 1890. 

Clarkstown, including upper Xyack village 6,305 5,216 

Upper Nyack village 516 668 

Haverstraw town, including Haverstraw and West 

Haverstraw villages 9,874 9,079 

Haverstraw village 5,935 5,070 

West Haverstraw village 2,079 180 

Orangetown, including Nyack, Piermont and South 

Nyack villages 10,456 10,343 

Nyack village 4,275 4,111 

Piermont village 1,153 1,219 

South Nyack 1,601 1,496 

Ramapo town, including Hillburn and Suffem vil- 
lages 7,502 5,910 

Hillbum village 824 

Suffem village 1,619 

Stony Point town 4,161 4,614 



24 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

CHAPTER IT. 

PREHISTORIC CURRENTS. 
Geologfioal Formation — Erratic Boulders and Other Drift Deposits — 
Scrat-clied Surfaces — The Palisades a River of Lava — Features of the Land- 
scape. 

IN regard to the geological history of the section, Prof. Mather, who 
made an official survey and report, for the State of New York, con- 
sidered it evident that a vast inland sea once occupied the Hudson 
and St. Lawrence valleys, since the periods of the drift deposits. The 
materials deposited from the waters in that area during a considerable 
period of time are such as we might, he said, expect in such a body of 
water, with a moderate flow tlu"ough its channels of communication with 
the ocean, and liaving the general contour of its bottom and shores the 
same as we now find the topographical features of the country to be. The 
water level has changed in this area, and as the ocean maintained its 
equilibrium, this vast tract of country had become elevated in mass with 
little relative change of height, but to an absohite height of tliree hun- 
dred to one thousand feet above the former level. This elevation had 
probably been effected in a short time, and caused strong currents to flow 
through the channels, commimicating with the ocean, and through 
which the watere had drained to their present levels, depositing beds of 
sand, gravel, pebbles and boulders in the eddies. The coarse deposits of 
gravel and pebbles, and even boulders, in the valle}^ near the nan'ow 
passes of the Highlands, and wherever the current was confined, seemed 
strongly to favor tlie view that the elevation by which these formations 
were raised above the level of the sea was not so slow in operation as that 
of the elevation of some other lands, and it may have been sudden. 

It has long been supposed, continues Professor Mather, that a great 
lake formerly existed above the Highlands, and many speculations have 
b(>en made concerning it, and the rending of the mountain so as to drain 
it off; btit the quarternary and drift deposits found in the valleys indi- 
cate that tlio channel through the Highlands existed nearly the same 
during these two epochs, as it is at present; so that from these circum- 
stances it is known that it has been an open channel of communication 
between the Atlantic and St. LawTence basins during and since these 
two p(>riods. Most of the rocks in place in the Hudson valley when un- 
covered from the drift that covers them in many places, show their sur- 
faces to have been gTound off, as if by tlie attrition of heavy moving- 
masses of rocks, and are scratched and grooved. 



PREHISTORIC CURRENTS. 25 

Prof. Matlier found two classes of facts that afford evidence of a 
sliifting of the position of rocks that can be referred to the g(^ofiTaphical 
period, when the formations were being elevated. One of these is a 
fault in some clay and gravel beds on th^ west bank of the river, where 
the clay and sand horizontally stratified were separated by a vertical line 
on the surface exposed, each abutting against the other, with little dis- 
turbance of either, and covered by beds of coarse gravel. The other 
class is where the slate rocks on the east side of the Hudson valley had 
been ground down, smoothed, deeply grooved and scratched along the 
edges, and since the action that had prodiiced these effects the masses of 
slate had been shifted a few inches in a vertical direction by a slight 
fault, so that the grooves and scratches of the lower part- of the mass were 
continued qiiite \\]> to the part that had been elevated. This shift of 
position, or slight fault, must have been subsequent to the period when 
the scratches were made. 

The drift deposits spoken of are composed of fragments of all the 
pre-existing rocks exposed to the action of the causes that have contrib- 
uted to their transportation. They are mostly coarse, composed of 
blocks, bouldei-s, pebbles, gTavel and sand, sometimes loose, but fre- 
quently aggregated by ergiltaceous matter that rendei-s a pick neces- 
sary to dig it. 

The boulders and blocks are scattered not only over the valleys, 
plains and hills of moderate elevation, but are found on the peaks of high 
Uioimtains. The materials of the drift deposits are often far distant, 
Uiit only from the hills and mountains and every known locality from 
wJiich they may have been derived, but are often separated from their 
parent sources by numerous plains, broad valleys, deep lakes or arms of 
the sea. The valley of the Hudson river through the Highlands shows 
boulders, blocks and pebbles of all the rocks of the Hudson, Mohawk and 
Champlain ^'alleys that would not easily grind up by attrition. Tlie 
plain at West Point, which belongs in part to the drift, is an instructive 
example of these deposits. In the gravel, pebble and boulder beds at 
that place, says Prof. Mather, a person may collect a suite nearly com- 
plete of all the rocks, and many of their mineral and fossil remains, that 
are found in place for a ilistance of two hundred and fifty miles to the 
north. The valley of Smith's Clove contains boulders of conglomerate 
like that of Skunnemuuk mount-ain; of granite, gneiss, etc., like the 
Highlands; grits and slates, like those of the Hudson valley, and pebbles 



26 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

of the Potsdam sandstone. Bonlders of other rocks are found in this 
clove, but those of the vicinity are most numerous. 

The well developed deposit of drift spoken of as being at West Pomt 
extends along the gTavel terrace from the base of Crow Nest to three 
miles below West Point, and also on the opposite bank of the Hudson, 
one-fourth to one-half mile from the river. Specimens of this drift can 
all be referred to their proper strata, and all are evidently and un- 
doubtedly derived from a northwardly source. The boulders and erratic 
blocks are especially numerous in the valley on the northern side of the 
Highlands, as if stopped there by an ancient shore. Stones of many 
tons weight are not uncommon in the high valleys of the Highlands. 

Examples of scratched surfaces may be seen on the top of the moun- 
tain between Grassy Point and the iron works at Smith's Clove, a little 
west of the old turnpike gate, and on ridges farther west. On the road 
leading south from Haverstraw over the monntflins of trap and in return- 
ing between High Tor and Little Tor — all these gorges are water worn 
and abraded where imcovered by the soil that protected the rock from 
<lecomposition or slow disintegi-ation. The size of the furrows varies in 
the same and different localities. Sometimes they are the finest 
scratches; in a few cases they are deep troughs or furrows. In direc- 
tions the scratches conform to those in which currents would flow. 

The Palisades have been alluded to. From Tappan creek south- 
ward the trap range does not present the "mural castellated" front like 
the Palisades south of there, but it fonns a more gentle swell, in some 
places steep, but of generally moderate accliWty, extending back one or 
two miles from the shore, with red sandstone exposed in numerous old 
quarries and small ravines to about two miles north of Nyack, where the 
trap ranges to the northeast, to Verdrietige Hook. The range gradually 
increases in height from Bergen Point to the Xew Jersey line, where 
the altitude is 539 feet. From there the height of the hills is less across 
Orangetown and the southern part of C'larkstown, to two miles north of 
Xyack, where the chain sweeps around to the northeast, at the north end 
of Tappan Bay, and forms the Hook, which is 608 feet high. The lofti- 
est point of all is High Tor, at Haverstraw, 850 feet. From here the 
general heights of the summits depress to the west and southwest, until 
the formation becomes merged in or falls below the red sandstone level 
along the base of the Highland range. 

It is now universally conceded, according to Prof. Mather, that the 



PREHISTORIC CURRENTS. 27 

trappean rocks show in themselves and in the effects produced by their 
protrusion between and through the strata of other rocks, undoubted evi- 
dence of ha\ang been at the time of their protrasion in a highly heated 
state. If the question were still open to discussion, the facts that may 
be seen by a careful exploration of the shore between Hoboken and Stony 
Point, where trap-rock dykes have cut through the strata and overflowed 
on the top, would afford a mass of evidence sufficient to convince the most 
skeptical on this subject and demonstrate that the Palisades and the rest 
of that range of trappean rocks are ancient lavas that have flowed through 
the rocky fissures in dykes while this part of the continent was still be- 
neath the waters of the ocean. 

Two places on the shore near Verdrietige Hook shoAV appearances of 
enormous dykes of trap-rock penetrating through the sandstone, from 
two hundred to six hundred feet wide. A mile south, trap has penetrat- 
ed laterally between the sandstone. Some of the sandstone is almost as 
hard and compact as jasper, some is purplish red, some is gray, and the 
trap itself in places is composed in part of the materials of the sandstone. 
At another locality, about two miles below Haverstraw, on the shore a 
trap dyke of one foot wide, a fault, and a layer of trap intruded between 
the strata can be seen. Mr. Cassells, a State geologist, observed one lo- 
cality west of north of New City where the trap-rock next the sandstone 
had a distinct columnar structure. 

The red sandstone region of Rockland County is referred to in the 
reports of the State geologists as a fine agricultural district. (The red 
sandstone, which begins at Stony Point on the north, extends through 
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, into North Carolina 
on the south.) The land in general is rolling, with a rich, sandy loam, 
resulting from the disintegration of the subjacent sandstone and its asso- 
ciated shales, marls and limestones. The strata are in general slightly 
inclined, one to three degTces to the westward, but near the granite rocks 
of the Grassy Point neighborhood they dip southwardly at a consider- 
able angle, ranging from fifteen to forty-five degrees. This rock occu- 
pies that portion of Rockland County from Grassy Point along the base 
of the Highlands to New Jersey and eastwai-d to the Hudson river, but 
a portion of its area is covered over by trap-rocks. In color it varies 
from chocolatc^brown through brick-red and gray to white. The useful 
varieties are the gray and the red conglomerate sandstone, which for 
many years were quarried extensively in this county. 



28 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Prof. Rogers, in a geological report for the State of Xew Jersey, in 
considering the sources of this formation of sandstone, says, "that this in- 
teresting group of rocks possesses in a striking degree the features of a 
noble river, taking its rise in the primary region of the Southern States, 
and meeting the ocean probably at and beyond the outlets of the Raritan 
and the Hudson." 

The limestone formation of Rockland County is well known. It 
skirts the shore for a mile or more, beginning on the north side of Stony 
Point, and extends two miles west of Grassy Point, and then disappears 
beneath the red sandstone formation. Along the west side of the mai-sli 
behind Stony Point it is also to be observed. The stone has long been 
quamed extensively by the Tomkins Cove Stone Company. 

The west and northwest parts of this county belong to the primary 
region. Tlic rocks consist of gneiss and horn blendic gneiss, granite, 
sienite, limestone, hornblende, serpentine, augite and trappean rocks. 
Stony Point is composed of gneissoid rocks, except the northwest point 
of the peninsula, which is a granite rock. About two acres of the penin- 
sula are covered by the rock, to an estimated mean depth of forty-five 
feet above high-water mark. Gneiss is the prevailing rock in the High- 
lands, but granite is abundant. 

Iron ore deposits are niimerous in the Highland range of mountains. 
A bed of titaniferous ore is situated on the east side of Bear Hill; mag- 
netic ore at the lower landing at Fort Montgomery. The Forest of Dean 
mine, west of Fort ^Montgomery, was opened about 1701. Many open- 
ing's have been made in the town of Stony Point, but the ore, with few 
exceptions, has not been foimd in a profitable state. The Ilanssan Clever 
Mine, which is on the same vein as the Forest of Dean IMines, was work- 
ed for many years, beginning before the Revolution. Some of the 
iron for the chains which stretched across the river during the war was 
mined here, and at the Cedar Pond Furnace, clase by, it was made into 
proper shape. Cannon balls were also manufactured at these works. 

Abovit thirty different kinds of minerals have been discovered in this 
county, but mostly in minute quantities. The mountain ranges have 
been thoroughly explored in the lioj^e of striking coal or precious ores. 
As has been shown, the principal contents of the natural storehouses of 
the county are clay, sand, sandstone, granite and trap-rock.* 

The topography of the county is varied. While the northern part 

* The foregoing article was mainly compiled front N. Y. State reports. 




Eh 

z 
u 
o 

M 
o 
o 
W 



PREHISTORIC CURRENTS. 29 

may be described as I'ugged, the central and southern portions are level 
or gently rolling. In the northern part of Stony Point town are several 
of the high peaks of the Highlands, as the Dnnderbcrg, Bear Hill, 1,350 
feet; Limp Mountain, Pingyp Mountain and Black Mountain. The por- 
tion of this to^vn suitable for agricidture is small. Prominent features 
of the river side of this \o\n\ are lona Island, Caldwell's Landing (or 
Jones's Point), Stony Point and Grassy Point. Poplopen's kill, at the 
northern apex, is fonned from the outlets of a number of ponds, Poplo- 
pen's, Round, Bull, Long, CranbeiTv and others. In the southorn part 
of the town several streams flow from the hills and form Minisceongo 
creek, whose sei-pentine mndings may be seen behind Grassy Point. 
This stream is navigable for a distance and is used by vessels engaged in 
the brick industry. A cascade in the village of Stony Point is called 
Plora (originally Florus) Falls, and the same name is given to the stream. 
The Rockland Print Works are situated on the banks of the Minisceongo, 
at Garnerville, in the to^vn of Ha^'erstraw. The town of Clarkstown is 
separated from Haverstraw to^vn by the Haverstraw mountain range, 
through which are the passes known as the Long Clove and Short Clove, 
with roads connecting the river shore and the interior. In the tovm of 
Clarkstown are the headwaters of the Hackensack, one of the sources of 
the river being Rockland Lake. Southeasterly through Orangetown 
flows the Sparkill, the only stream to pass the Palisades. Through tliis 
opening the Erie Railroad was first built to the Hudson river, having its 
terminus at Piemiont. The western part of the town of Ramapo is 
mountainous. In a southeasterly direction through the township flows 
the Ramapo river, entering the Passaic near Pompton. It receives the 
outlets of numerous mountain lakes. The tenn Ramapo was originally 
given to the entire district, rather than to the river alone, and meaning 
"many ponds." The Ramapo valley and the connecting Smith's Clove 
were much used in Revolutionary times as a route for military purposes. 
I'he central and eastern part of tlic town of Ramapo is a fine agricultural 
country, through which flow the Mahwah and Saddle I'ivcrs and head- 
waters of the Hackensack. 



30 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

CHAPTER III. 

DISCOVERY OP ROCKLAND COUNTY. 
Navig-ators Who Came Before Henry Hudson — The Half Moon's Arrival in 
the Ta.jipan Zee — The First Red Man Slain — Early Traders — Era of Coloniza- 
ton Begun. 

THE history of Rockland County, so far as it is known to us, begins 
witli the fourteenth day of September, 1609. It is the date of the 
coming of Henry Hudson to the shores of the Tappan Zee. The 
native lookouts who were peering down from their mountain palisades 
that morning discovered a strange sail speeding s'wiftly up the wide river 
before a strong southeast wind. The aboriginal American had waited 
long for the coming of his European brother. For thousands of years 
people liad dwelt here imknown to the other half of the world. The 
Cave Dwellers had lived, built their curious habitations, reared their 
families, worked out their plans of life and passed away. The Mound 
Builders, coming up ages afterward, ^\'ith a still more advanced civiliza- 
tion, with a better idea of the chief end of man, and mth better methods 
and higher purposes, built houses for their families, temples for their 
God and fortifications against their enemies. These people may have 
lived up to the best light they were permitted to receive, but for some 
reason they perished from the earth, leaving only their monuments 
to show that they had existed. Every trace of their culture had been 
lost, their successors had fallen back into intellectual darkness, and men 
and affairs in this land had returned almost to the place of beginning; 
for in the eternal plan of the universe the time had not yet come. Who 
can tell what the course of empire had been, to what heights civilization 
had not risen, or affirm that America had not had her Babylons and 
Ninevehs? The Chinese discoverers had come and gone a thousand 
jears before. Then the Norsemen had come. In the spring of the year 
1000 Lief Erickson, sailing from Greenland, reached Labrador and ex- 
plored the coast as far southward as ^Massachusetts, in which section he 
continued for a year. It is even said that he found Narragansett Bay, 
and sailed on until he arrived in New York harbor. Other adventurous 
navigators of the same nationality following Erickson's lead, in subse- 
(juent years, explored the coast as far south as Virginia; others planted 
colonies in New Foundland and Nova Scotia. Not comprehending, 
however, the trvie importance of their discoveries, they believed the 
country to be only a part of Greenland bending around an ann of the 
sea. For four or five hundred years the Norsemen came and departed. 



DISCOVERY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 31 

occasionally establishing small colonies, but, as the ultimate result, fail- 
ing or being unable to take full advantage of the prize they had found. 
Their settlements disappeared, and once again the red savage represent- 
ed the highest enlightenment of a continent. And the Arabians came 
also. Eight brothers of that nationality, setting sail from Lisbon, pre- 
\nous to 1149, swore they would not return till they had crossed to the 
farther shore of the iinknown sea. They continued on until they arrived 
at an island inhabited by people of lofty stature and red skin. 

The Welsh had also their opportunity. In Oardoc's "Historic of 
Canbria" it is related that Madoc, son of Owen Gwynnedt, Prince of 
Wales, with a niunber of vessels, set sail westward in 1170, and after a 
voyage of several weeks landed in a strange coimtrj', totally different 
both in its inhabitants and productions from Europe. There they estab- 
lished a permanent settlement. After a time Madoc, returning to 
Wales, fitted out ten ships and fonned a large company ready to go wth 
him to the new country. In what part of the hemisphere they estab- 
lished their new home, history does not reveal; both Virginia and Mex- 
ico have been mentioned in connection with this expedition, and no one 
knows the fate of the colony. 

From almost every country of Europe came navigators to the new 
world. A Pole, John Scolvus, in the ser\nce of Denmark, in 1476, vis- 
ited the coast of Labrador. About the same period Xicolo Zeni left 
Venice on a voyage, avowedly in quest of new lands, and not in search 
of a new route to India. He spent a year among the islands of the West, 
and on his second voyage was joined by his brother, Antonio. The lat- 
ter continued in the new world for ten years, and upon his death left a 
narrative of his voyages, accompanied by maps and letters. "Wlien these 
were published, about 1558, it was made plain that he had visited and de- 
lineated a considerable portion of the American coast. Ere this the 
darkness that had enveloped the minds of men began to give way to the 
light of science. The mariner's compass had helped to solve problems 
in navigation; the earth was no longer believed to be flat. Europe was 
preparing for its task. 

Columbus set out on his great enterprise, under the patronage of the 
crown of Spain, on the 3rd of August, 1492. Arriving at the Canary 
Islands on the 9th, the vessels lay there four weeks, and on the 6th of 
Scptoniber sailed in a westerly direction. At 2 o'clock on the morning 
of Friday, October 12, land was sighted from the Nina, and on the same 



32 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

iiioming Columbus, richly clad and bearing tlic royal baimer of Spain, 
and surrounded by his captains and sailors, also bearing banners, took 
possession of the island for their Majesties of Castile and Leon, giving 
thanks to the Most High. He spent three months exploring the islands. 
When the Santa Maria stranded, from her timbers a fort was built, and 
forty-three Spaniards were left in charge. On the 16th of January, 
1493, Columbus set out on his return in the Nina, having previously lost 
sight of the Pinta. Upon his arrival home he was received with great 
honor, and the news of his discovery was heralded throughout Europe. 
Columbus hunself made three more voyages to the new world, and be- 
fore his death other navigators had also visited the new coast. Some- 
body — it may have been companions of Columbus — explored the water- 
ways of this part of the State between the years 1500 and 1520. They 
penetrated even into the valley of the Mohawk. The memorial stone 
unearthed at Pompey, Onondaga coimtv, and bearing the date of 1520, 
is an evidence of Spanish ^^sitation, and the iiiins of a fort on Castle Is- 
land, below Albany, have by tradition been assigned to the same period. 
Wliile the Cabots, under commissions of Henry the Seventh of England, 
after discovering i^ew Foundland, sailed along the continent, and in a 
succeeding reign may have still further explored the coast, no claim is 
made that either of them ever entered the broad bay into which the Ilwd- 
son river discharges, though the English title to the domain adjacent to 
the bay begins with the discoveries of the Cabots. Giovanni da Verraz- 
zano, a Florentine in the .servic-e of Francis I. of France, anchored his 
caravel, the Daujjhinc, at the entrance to the bay in April, 1524:. With 
a small boat a party from the ship entered the river and (quoting from 
a letter wliich Yeirazzano wrote to King Francis) "found the country 
on its banks well peopled, the inhabitants not difFering much from the 
others, being dressed oiit with the feathers of birds of various colors. 
They came toward us with evident delight," he continues, "raising loud 
shouts of admiration, and showing us where we could most securely 
land with our boat. We passed up the river about half a league, when 
we found it formed a most beautiful lake, three leagues in circTiit, upon 
which they were rowing thirty or more of their small boats from ono 
shore to the other, filled with multitudes who came to see us." A vio- 
lent Avind suddenly rising, the party was obliged to return to the ship 
and came not back again. 

Est€van Gomez, a PortugTiese, sailing under the flag of Charles V. 



DISCOVERY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 33 

of Spain, following Verrazzano in a few months, explored the bay more 
thoroughly and made a chart of it. He ascended the river for a consid- 
erable distance, and carried lionie a cargo that included fiu-s and red 
men for slaves. Captain Andre Thevet, from France, viewed New York 
harbor in the spring of 1556. In succeeding years various expeditions 
from Spain and France sighted or touched the coast about Manhattan. 
In the national library at Paris is a manuscript, wTitten about 1545, de- 
scriptive of the waters of New York bay, and saying that "the river is 
salt for more than forty leagues up," and expressing the belief that the 
waters of the St. Lawrence and this ''great river" commingled. 

It was an era when adventure was a passion, and to send out ships on 
voyages of discovery was the pleasure of monarchs. Stories of "voy- 
ages," sometimes illustrated, were being published and eagerly read in 
European countries. Patents were being granted to adventurers to 
occupy any remote, heathen and barbarous lands "not actually possessed 
by any Christian prince or people." In 1569 David Ingi'ani and two 
companions crossed the southeastern portion of this State in making an 
enforced journey from the Gulf of Mexico to Massachusetts Bay. 
I'hough practically the whole eastern coast of North America had been 
in gome degree explored and charted, yet at the opening of the seven- 
teenth century not one European settlement existed between the Gulf 
of St. La^Tence and Florida. Settlers had come to a few places, and 
then had disappeared. 

Only two years before the coming of the Half Moon to Manhattan, 
the English settled at Jamesto\vn, Virginia, and almost at the precise 
time when Hudson was exploring the river which bears his name, Sam- 
uel do Champlain, a captain of the French navy, with a special commis- 
sion from his king, was exploring Lake Champlain, he having founded a 
colony at Quebec the previous year. Thus the red flag of England was 
floating over Virginia and the white ensign of France over Canada when 
the Dutch tri-color was imfurled on this river. 

Traditions of former visits of white men must have remained with. 
the tribes on the lower course of the River of the Mountains, and doubt- 
less they had heard of many other vessels that in a long course of years 
had anchored off the American coast in various places and after trading 
with the red men had carried away cargoes of furs. Not altogether for 
the sake of adventure, or in the interest of science, or to extend the 
knowledge of geography, had so many expeditions been fitted out for 



34 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

America. Few returned empty handed, as there was a great demand for 
American furs. But with Henry Hudson arrived a new era for this por- 
tion of the new world. Before liiiu was nothing in the nature of prog- 
ress. After him came civilization, and for all practical purposes the his- 
tory of this valley begins with his appearance on the scene. 

Xews of his coming had probably preceded him up the river. The 
night before, the 13th, the strange vessel had cast anchor in sight of and 
about fifteen miles below Hook Mountain. Indian runners and signals 
had carried the information along the shores. Whether or not it "»vas 
considered by the resident Americans a stupendous crisis in history, it 
was at least an hour of excitement. The idea that they had never heard 
of the wliite man or Ids countr}' across the great deep must not be enter- 
tained; biit with intense curiosity and much wonderment the movements 
of the Half Moon were watched from the shores. A chunsy, high-pooped 
yacht, manned by a score of English and Dutch sea dogs, and flying the 
Dutch colors, was coming rapidly up the river before the favorable 
breeze. For eleven dajs she had been in the river bay below, and stories 
of her doings had been spread. The Tappans now gathered on the edge 
of their domain, or out on the river in canoes, saw a two-masted high- 
sided caravel of about eighty tons' displacement, carrying at her stem a 
Hag composed of three horizontal bars of orange, white and blue. On, 
into Haverstraw bay she passed, and was lost to view. 

The return trip was in a more leisurely manner, and at noon on the 
first of October the stranger reappeared at the head of Haverstraw Bay 
and came to anchor near Stony Point. Since an affray which occurred 
during the week that the ship lay at Sandy Hook, when one of the sail- 
ors, while returning in a small boat from a visit to shore with some com- 
panions, was killed by an arrow from a party of pursuers, relations of 
friendship had been re-established and during the voyage up the river 
the Europeans bad tarried pleasantly, occasionally trading with and 
entertaining the savages. But Hudson had some rough characters in his 
crew, and the fear that they might provoke a conflict was never absent 
from his mind. At Penobscot Bay, where he had remained a week, cut- 
ting a new foremast and mending his rigging, a part of the ship's com- 
pany had wantonly despoiled the cabins of the friendly natives. The 
Captain never set dowi\ the reason why one of his men was slain and two 
wounded in ISTew York harbor, but it is a fair sunuise that they had com- 
mitted some reprehensible act. Out from the shore now came parties 



DISCOVERY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY 35 

of ludiaus iii canoes. They paddled around the Dutch nierchautman 
with intense curiosity, and clambered up her high sides. They saw the 
form of a crescent or half moon painted on her stem, and over it in 
Dutch characters a name that has been translated "Half Moon," though 
"Crescent" would have served as well. The property of the Dutch East 
Indian Company, one of the principal trading companies of Europe, she 
had been put in commission under an Englishman, with Robert Juet, also 
an Englishman, as clerk and secretary, and a crew of twenty sailors, 
partly Dutch and partly English, and had been dispatched from Amster- 
dam with the purpose of searching for a new passage to China and the 
Indies. They had explored the great river to the head of navigation in 
the hope that it might prove to be such a passage, and though disap- 
pointed in this they had foimd sometliing far more valuable for pos- 
terity. 

Here at Stony Point the friendly intercourse between the European 
sailors and the children of the forest came to an unhappy termination. 
An agile savage imobserved had climbed up by the rudder and entered a 
cabin window. He could not resist the opportunity to pilfer, and was 
making off with a pillow and some clothing when he was detected and 
shot dead by a mate. All his comjianions fled precipitoiisly, some jump- 
ing from the deck into the river. The goods were recovered by a boat's 
crew that went in pursuit, but as the men were returning a savage in the 
water laid hold of the boat and the cook lopped oflF his hand with a sword. 
He sank never to rise again. These were the first Indians killed by Euro- 
peans on this river. To escape further trouble, the Half Moon weighed 
and dropped down about five miles, where she anchored for the night, 
and was uadigturbed. But the shedding of blood had changed a "loving 
people" into bitter enemies, and the next day, when twenty miles farther 
south, the ship was fiercely attacked. Two canoes filled with armed war- 
riors put out from shore and fired a shower of aiTows. The crew replied 
with bullets, hitting three braves and repulsing the rest. From the near- 
est point of land more than a hiindred focmen now pushed ofF for the 
ship, seeking revenge, but a well directed shot from a cannon sent con- 
sternation among them and killed two. They were more alanned by the 
thundering of the heavy piece of ordnance than even by its terrible exe- 
cution. The very hills seemed to tremble as they echoed the blast. But 
regaining courage, nine or ten warriors threw themselves into a canoe, 
and once more came out to defy their enemies. Again a mighty explo- 



36 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

siou reut the air; a column of fire and smoke came forth from the side 
of the shijj and a huge pi'ojectile accurately aimed crashed through the 
bark, after penetrating a wan-ior's body. This was an ordeal that Indian 
nature could not withstand, and after the dripping survivors had swam 
ashore luider a discharge of musketry which had killed three or four 
more, no further assault was made. 

The Half Moon passed on down and anchored for the night two 
leagues distant, close to the Hoboken shore. Though Hudson lay there 
wind bound all the next day, no people came to trouble him, and the next 
morning, just one month after his arrival at Sandy Hook, having a favor- 
able breeze, he passed down the bay and out to sea. 

Hudson was now undecided whore to go. The membei's of his com- 
pany were of various minds, and savage mutterings came to his cars. 
His chief officer mshed to muter in Ifew Foundland, and continue the 
search for a new route to Asia in the spring. But Hudson, realizing that 
the ship was short of provisions and had a ci'ew not amenable to disci- 
pline, urged their immediate return to Holland, with a report of what 
they had already discovered for their employers. At last it was agi-eed 
to winter in the British Isles, and on I^ovember 7th they arrived safely 
at Dartmouth, in Devonshire. From there Hudson forwarded his report 
to Amsterdam. The Half iloon was retiirned to Holland after a deten- 
tion by governmental interference in England for eight mouths; but 
Hudson's connection with the Dutch East India Company ceased shortly 
after his arrival in England. 

Taking service -with an English trading company, the intrepid navi- 
gator set out on what proved to be his last voyage, in April of the next 
year, with a crew of twenty-three sailors, and reached Greenland in June. 
Steering westward, he discovered the strait now kno^\^l as Hudson's 
strait. Passing through this, he entered the great bay which is also called 
by his name, and which became the foundation of the wealth of the great 
Hudson Bay Company. Remaining too long in the desolate countrv, the 
expedition was reduced to destitute circumstances. A mutiny broke out, 
and Hudson, liis son and a few others who attended to him, were deserted 
by the rest of the crew of the ship, and were left to perish miserably. 
The Half Moon was "wrecked and lost" in 1615 on the island of Mauri- 
tius, in the East Indies. 

Hudson's repoi't. excited much interest among the daring merchants 
of Great Britain and the ^Netherlands, but the directors of the Dutch 



DISCOVERY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 37 

East India Company, concluding that tliey had no authority under their 
charter to pursue the matter further, made no effort to possess the new 
country or monopolize its trade. They were content with their control 
of the great trade of the East, and their only further desire was a shorter 
route to that quarter of the globe, which they expended large sums in 
searching for. 

The report, which Hudson made of the Hudson river was an unquali- 
fiedly favorable one. "It is as beautiful a land as one can tread upon," 
he A\TOte, "and abounds in all kinds of excellent timber." The shores 
were ''as pleasant with grass and tlowers and goodly trees as ever they 
had seen," and he fancied that the mountains had metal in them. 
Although Spain had laid claim to all America, and France to all that 
part of it north of the Gulf of Mexico, the States G-eneral of Holland 
now proceeded to lay claim to tlie river and the adjoining territory, lim- 
ited only by the indefinite frontier lines of the French occupation on the 
north, the English colony of Virginia on the south, and to extend west- 
ward "as far as the Dutch might be supposed ever to explore." To this 
reaion the name of ?^ew Netherlands was given, and the river was called 
Mauritius, after the Stadtholder Prince Maurice. Losing no time, some 
Holland merchants sent out a vessel as soon as they learned of Hudson's 
discoveries and the States General's proclamation. The crew included 
several sailors who the previoiis year had sailed \vith Hudson in the Half 
Moon, and it is surmised that he who was then first officer was now in 
command. This was the firet Butch ship that came expressly to trade 
with the Indians of the ilauritius river, and so far as known the inter- 
course was entirely peaceable. In 1611 Hendrick Christiaensen and his 
partner, Adriaen Block, chartered a ship in Holland and made a voyage 
to the Mauritius river, and on their return besides a goodly cargo, brought 
two young Indians as specimens of the resident Americans. In 1612 
three merchants of Amsterdam, one of whom was a director in the East 
India Company, sent out two vessels, the Fortune and the Tiger, under 
the command of Christiaensen and Block, to trade along this river. Other 
Dutch merchants the next year joined in the trade, and the commerce 
that has continued from then to now was fau-ly opened. Captain 
Block's ship, the Tiger, was destroyed by fire at Manhattan Island in the 
fall of 1713, and he and his crew spent the -winter there in huts which 
they built, and busied themselves meanwhile in constructing a new ves- 
sel, which was called the Eestless, and was the first ship ever launched 



38 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

on this river. In this small vessel Block proceeded to explore the East 
river and Long Island Sound. He discovered the Connecticut river and 
Narragansett bay. That winter also he and liis crew spent on Manhat- 
tan Island, and from tliat time there was a Dutch colony there. A large 
storehouse was Imilt, and thither the Indians began to take their furs. 

References: 'Itlie Story oif the Stlaites, by ElbrMg'e S. Brooks, E. H.- Rob- 
erts' New York, ()'C'«llaih^u^s and Ito'odhead's HSstorieis. 



CHAPTEE IV. 

THE ABORIGINES. 
Tribes of the Lower Hudson Valley — The Tapp.ans and Haverstraws — 
Characteristics and Mode of Life — Bountifully Supplied by Nature — Principles 
of Government and Evidences of Religion. 

THE Indian tribes of the Hudson river belonged to three great nat- 
ural divisions, the Mahicans, the Lenni Lenapcs and the Iroquois, 
each of which divisions was composed of a confederacy or league 
of tribes. These tribes in turn were each composed of minor tribes or 
clans. The Iroquois confederacy originally included five nations, the 
Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas, but the Tusca- 
roras, who had long lived in North Carolina, were permitted to settle 
in this province and become members of the federation which was thence- 
forth called the Six Nations. Their territory extended from the Catskills 
to the St. Lawrence, and from the Hudson to Lake Erie. The tribes 
belonging to the Mahican federation possessed the whole east bank of 
the river from the headwaters to the sea, and their lands extended to 
the Connecticut, if not beyond. A powerful people, their influence was 
proportionate to the conunanding situation. The coimtry of the Lenni 
Lenapes, or Delawares, as they were sometimes called, extended from the 
Catskill mountains to the sea, along the west bank of the Hudson, and 
from that river to the Potomac and beyond. Their capital, or seat of 
government, was at the place now covered by the city of Philadelpliia. 
The sub-nation along the west bank of the lower "Mahicanituk," as they 
called our river, had the general name of Unamis. The chieftaincies 
included the Navisink or Neversincks, at or near Sandy Hook, the Rari- 
tans, who gave their name to a river; the Ilackensacks, the Aquacknocks, 
Avhose hunting gi-onnds were in the section where the city of Paterson 
has grown \\])\ tlie Tappans, wlio lived on the shore of the Tappan Zee 



THE ABORIGINES. 39 

and in the country extending west from it, their northern boundary being 
Ilook Mountain, and their domain extending southward to the lands of 
the Hackensacks; and finally tlie Ilaverstraws, on the shore of Ilaver- 
straw Bay. 

For the reason that Staten Island appears to have been owned in 
partnership by the Raritans, the Hackensacks and the Tappans, there 
nuist have been a special alliance between these three tribes. It is appar- 
ent that the Tappans were influential and powerful, and occupied a geo- 
graphical position of groat advantage, not only abounding in fish and 
game, but also well situated for defence against their occasional enemies 
across the river. The Palisades were impregnable, and by concentrating 
at the few places where attacks could \)e made from the river, they were 
always able to defend themselves from that quarter. They lived in a nat- 
wral fortress. At or near the several openings in the Palisades were their 
principal ^^llages, the chief one of all being near the present site of Tap- 
pan village. The name of their cachem in 1645 was Sesekemu, and 
at a later period Taghkospeno filled that position. A neighboring chief 
contemporaneous with Sesekemu was Oritany of the Hackensacks, who 
lived to a gTeat age and was a noted character. A man of moderation, 
sagacity and benevolence, he won respect from all who came in contact 
with him. His influence over other chieftains was very great, and he 
also earned the confidence of the white settlers in an exceptional degree. 
The lands of his chieftaincy included the present Jersey City, Hoboken 
and the lower part of the Hackensack river country. 

Xortli of the Tappans were the Haverstroos (or Haverstraws), with 
a domain now covered by the townships of Haverstraw and Stony Point. 
Aboiit 1666 they sold a large tract of their river front to Balthazcr De 
Ilarte, a Xew York merchant, and left him in undisputed possession. In 
1G83 they sold another large tract to Stephen Van Cortlandt. This 
extended "from the soutli side of a creek called Senkapough, west to the 
head thereof, then northerly along the high hills as the river runneth to 
another creek called Aasinapink, thence along the same to Hudson's 
river." The Haverstraws were the tril)csmen who had the trouble with 
the crew of the Half Moon while that vessel was anchored near Stony 
Point in 1609. For a long period Saekagkemeck was their sachem, for 
he sigiied both the De Hart and Van Cortlandt deeds. Other prominent 
men in the tribe were Roansamcck, Kewegham and Kackeros. The 
Haverstraws were also called the Rumachenaek tribe. 



40 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

The immediate neighbors of the Haverstraws on the north were the 
Waoranecks, whose northern boundary was Danskammer point, and 
across the river the Kit«hawangs and the Sint Sings, belonging to the 
Mahican nation. In the section now occupied by the villag'es of Dobbs 
FeiTy and Tariytown lived the Wechquaesgecks, and south of these were 
the Manhattans. The Kitchawangs had a castle at the mouth of the 
Croton river that was very fonnidable. It stood at the entrance, or 
neck, of Teller's Point, and near the site is the Van Cortlandt family 
cemetery. They had another village at Peekskill which they called 
Sackhoes. The Sint Sings' stronghold was at Ossining, and the Manhat- 
tans had a fort on Spuyten Duyvel creek. 

All the Hudson river tribes were powerful; the three great nations 
or confederacies to which they belonged were as prominent among the 
other nations of the continent as is the Empire State among other States 
in the present era. Originally the IVIahicans and Lenapes (or Delawares) 
were superior in war-like strength to the Iroquois (or Five Nations), but 
after the advent of the Dutch and English the Iroquois could more easily 
obtain firearms, which gave them an advantage over their brethren of 
the lower Hudson. 

In the day of their supremacy the red men of the IRidson were the 
noblest and best of their race. Much in their general character can be 
admired, when one considers the intellectual darkness in which they 
lived. Supposedly children of Adam, like the new comers from across 
the sea, why had the Americans remained behind with those who dwelt 
in tents, and the Europeans advanced? What will account for the dif- 
ference between them? While they had learned scarcely anything in 
mechanics, and very little in agriculture and mining, yet, living so close 
to nature all these ages, they had learned something from the birds and 
trees and running brooks. According to their o^vn philosophy tliey had 
everything necessary to their happiness and well-being; otlier things 
tliey did not have because such were unnecessary; they had discarded 
or left alone what they could do without. While the white man's desire 
had been for acciunulation, the red man's rule of life liad been elimina- 
tion; the gold which one prized so highly was uncoveted by him to whom 
the bulging storehouses of nature were free. Nature ^vith very little 
aasistance was able to supply the wants of her children, and they were 
willing that she should. As for their moral side, the race had not a few 
elements of nobilitv. Out of their inner consciousness they had evolved 




<: 

J 

Q 
< 

w 

o 



THE ABORIGINES. 41 

certain principles and set up certain standards. No tables of stone had 
ever been handed down from heaven to tliem, yet they believed in the 
Great Spirit, and hoped for a blessed iminortality. 

With no examples within their view of knowledge, they had origi- 
nated a fonn of government whose corner-stone was the liberty of the 
individual. It was the prototype of onr present republican institution. 
They founded independence and effected a union of States; the voice of 
the people was supreme. They had great self-control and self-respect; 
all have read of the dignity of their bearing. In diplomacy they matched 
the white man; in oratory they were sometimes superb. While they 
often forgave an injury, they never forgot a kmdness. 

The Iroquois are known to have carried their arms westward to the 
Mississippi, and soTithward to the C'arolinas. They even entered Mexico. 
La Salle found them in Illinois, and Captain John Smith encountered a 
fleet of their canoes on the Chesapeake. But powerful as were the Iro- 
quois, the river Indians were fully if not more than their equals. The 
Mahioal and Unamis were never as nations driven away from their coun- 
cil fires, and their deeds for land along this river were ever accepted by 
the white men as good titles. 

The Tappans, Haverstraws and Ilackensacks were generous and affa- 
ble to the foreign people who came among them, but were naturally 
reserved, and apt to retaliate for injuries and to retain resentments a long 
time. They took remarkable care of one another in sickness. In their 
councils they seldom if ever interrupted or hastily contradicted. Their 
language was lofty and sententious; if several came to a foreigner's 
house and he gave food to Init one, the recipient would divide it et|ually 
among his companions. The Indians were generally straightforward 
with those who were of the same mind. Many incidents could be related 
to show wherein they manifested commendable traits. If a rattlesnake 
gave notice with his rattle when they approached, they would not harm 
him, but if he rattled after they had passed they immediately returned 
and killed him. Their chief employments were hunting, fishing and 
fowling, and making canoes, bowls and other wooden and earthen ware. 
In earthen bowls they boiled their water. They also made hats, ropes, 
mats and baskets. The women's duties consisted in preparing the meals, 
planting com, parching or roasting it, pounding it to meal in mortars, 
and making bread. 



42 HISTORY OF ROCKLA>fD COUNTY. 

The Indians would not allow the mentioning of the name of a friend 
after liis death. They sometimes streaked their faces with black when 
in monniing, but when their affairs went well they painted their 
faces red. They were great observers of the weather and of the habits 
of birds and animals; they studied the virtues of roots and herbs. When 
a person of note died far from home his companions would carry his 
corpse to be buried among his kin. They were exceedingly faithful in 
visiting and keeping in order the graves of their dead. They called per- 
sons and places by the names of tilings remarkable. The marriage cere- 
mony was sometimes thus: the relations and friends being present, the 
bridegroom delivered a bone to the bride, she an ear of Indian com to 
him, meaning that be was to pro^'ide meat, she bread. In case of sub- 
sequent disagTecmcnt and divorce, the children went with the party that 
loved them best. They had gTeat respect for age and were kind to the 
decrepit. Strict observers of the rights of property, they apparently had 
no great desire for large possessions. Their wigwams were mostly 
together in \^llages, but tribes having large territory moved about in the 
summer season for pleasure or in pursuit of game. When a company 
traveled together they generally followed each other in silence and in 
single file. 

In person they were upright and of straight limbs; their tine figures 
distingiiishcd American Indians from the savages of all other lands. 
Their bodies were strong, seldom crooked; their features regular, their 
countenances strong; in temper, cool and deliberate. Xevcr in haste to 
speak, the Indian waited for a certainty that the person addressing him 
had spoken all he wished to say. When in council his behavior was par- 
ticiilarly dignified. Evei-y one entitled to speak wa.s heard in his turn, 
according to rank of years, or wisdom, or service to his nation or tribe. 
The youthful were expected to keep silence altogether. 

Liberty, as has been said, was the corner-stone of their system of gov- 
ernment; the utmost liberty ■with the least compulsion. Freedom and 
independence were principles they had learned from Nature, after which 
they patterned their lives. Slavery was dreaded more than deatli and 
they themselves never made slaves of inferior races. Their children were 
trained up to cherish the idea of freedom and that they were freemen. 
Accordingly, they were seldom punished -natli blows, but appealed to 
with reason. The parents said that the mischief their children might do 
Avould not be serious until their own reason and sense of right would mod- 



THE ABORIGINES. 43 

ify their conduct. Tlieir ponnl code was limited; they had a system of 
punishments peculiarly their own. Atonements were in most cases vol- 
mitary. The respect which tliey accorded to their chiefs and sachems 
was voluntarj'; nothing of the kind could be exacted under their idea 
of independence and personal freedom. Respect was earned hj merit, 
and not based on fear. Age was revered. The sachems directed in this 
councils and had the power to sign deeds when land was disposed of. 

When making treaties or when presenting formal complaints to the 
white men, they had a singular custom, perhaps designated to help their 
memories, perhaps to give force to what they said. They had belts and 
strings of black and whit* wampum, and sometimes sticks of wood, each 
of which would correspond to one count in the indictment, or to on<> 
phase of the subject under discussion. The Indians treasured these belts 
when delivered to them in ti'eaties. Illustrative of the use made of the 
belts and strings, the speech of a chief of this section at a covincil fire 
with English governors may be quoted: The chief spoke in English: 
"Brethren: It is now more than two yeai-s since we heard of our cousins, 
the Delawares, taking up the liatchet against the English. We invited 
them and they came to a great meeting at our town of Otsaningo. We 
then gave our cousins a belt a fathom long, and twenty-five rows in 
breadth, and desii-ed them to lay do^vn the liat«het that they had taken 
up against the English, and to be easy with them. And if they would 
follow this advice we told them that they would live in peace until their 
heads were white with age; otherwise, it might not be so with them. Not 
bearing from our cousins for some time what they did in consequence of 
this belt, we sent to them two other belts, one of sixteen and the other 
of twelve rows, desiring them once more to be easy with their brethren, 
the English, and not to strike them any more: But still we heard noth- 
ing from them ; indeed, some time afterward, we understood the Dela- 
wares would say that the Indians at Otsanigo had grey eyes, and even 
should have had the hatchets struck into our heads. We now want to 
know what is become of these belts; maylje they may be under ground, 
or they may have swallowed them down their throats. . . . Breth- 
ren: As our enemies have been loth to give any answer to these belts, 
we now desire that they may let us kni>w in public conference what they 
have done with them." The old chief here put down a string of wam- 
pma to emphasize his inquiry and the conclusion of his remarks. 



44 HISTORY OP ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

The generally expressed opinion of the early white critics for the re- 
ligion of the red men was one of contempt, but time has somewhat mod- 
ified that view. If by the word religion is meant assent to certain creeds, 
or the obser^^ance of forms and ceremonies, snch as are common among 
us, then it may be said that the Indian had no religion. But if by re- 
ligion we im.derstand a belief in a Suj^remc Being, in an over-ruling 
pro\'idence, in a hunger after knowledge of Him, and a fima belief in a 
happy life beyond the grave for those who order themselves right in tliis 
life, then it must be admitted that the Indian had a religion. In 1737 
a young man who had acquired great familiarity with the Indian lan- 
guage was sent by the Governor of Virginia on a journey to Onondaga, 
the capital of the Six Nations. He set out in Februaiy on his five- 
hundred mile jom-ney through the wilderness, accompanied by a Dutch- 
man and three Indians. Wlien they were one liundred and fifty miles 
on their journey they came into a narrow valley, both sides of which 
were formed of high moTintains, where the snow lay about three feet 
deep. The trail led along the slope of one of these mountains, and to 
keep from slipping the travelers were obliged to dig footholds in hard 
places. As they crept on it happened that the old Indian's foot slipped, 
and the root of the bush by which he held breaking, he slid down the 
mountain side as from the roof of a house. By a strange fortune he 
was stopped in his fall by the stoiit string which fastened his pack catch- 
ing on the stimip of a tree. When he was rescued by his companions, 
and all had descended in safety to the valley, it was discovered that had 
the Indian gone a few feet farther, he would have fallen over a preci- 
pice, rocky and vertical, at the foot of which were bare bouldei-s. The 
Indian was astonished and turned pale. Then, with outstretched arms 
and great earnestness, he spoke tliesc words: 'T thank the great lord 
and governor of this world in that he had mercy upon me, and has been 
Avilling that I should live longer." The Indian words, the Governor's 
commissioner, imderstanding them perfectly, set down at once in liis 
journal. 

The next year the same commissioner went on another journey to 
Onondaga, in company with three other woodsmen. It happened that 
an Indian came to them in the evening, who had neither shoes, stock- 
ing's, knife, gun, shirt nor hatchet; in a word, he had nothing but an old 
torn blanket and some rags. On the white men inquiring whither he 
was going, he answered, to Onondaga. Said the interpreter afterward 



THE ABORIGINES. 45 

iu wTiting the account: "I knew him and asked how he woiild under- 
take to go a journey of three hundred miles so naked and unprovided, 
having no provisions, nor any arms to kill game for his sustenance? He 
answered that he liad been amongst enemies, and had been obliged to 
save himself by flight, and so had lost all, but he told me very cheerfully 
Ihat 'God fed everything which had life, even the rattlesnake, and that 
Ciod woidd provide in such a manner that he should come to Onondaga 
alive; he knew for certain that he should go there; that God was always 
with the Indians in the wilderness, because they alwaj^s cast their cares 
on him, biit that contrary to this, the Europeans always carried their 
bread with them.' He was an Onondaga, liis name was Anontagketa. 
The next day we traveled in company, and the day following I pro^'ided 
him with a knife, hatchet, flint and tinder, also shoes and stockings, and 
sent him before me to give notice to the council at Onondaga that I was 
coming, which he truly performed, being got thither three days before 
me." 

Apparently, a life of dissipation and ease, sometimes of appetite, 
satiety, indolence and sleep, seemed to be the ambition of the average 
Indian ; but sometimes a desire for better things was observed. An old 
king who was dying gave utterance to these words in the presence of men 
able to take account of them: "It is my desire that my brother's son 
should come to me and hear my last words; for him have I appointed 
king after me. . . . My brother's son, this day I deliver my heart 
into your bosom; and mind me. I would have you love what is good 
and keep good company; refuse what is evil and by all moans avoid bad 
company. Be sure always to walk in a good path and if any should 
speak any evil of Indians or Christians, do not join it, but look at the sun 
from the rising of it until the setting of the same. In speeclics that 
shall be made between the Indians and the Christians, if any wrong or 
evil thing be spoken, do not join with that; but join with the good. When 
speeches are made, do not you speak first; be silent and let all speak be- 
fore you, and take good notice what each one speaks, and when you have 
heard all, join to that which is good. . . . Brother's son, you have 
heard what has passed; stand up in time of speeches, stand in my steps 
and follow my speeches; this do and what you desire in reason shall be 
granted. Why should you not follow my example? I have had a mind 
to be good and do good, therefore do you the same. Sheoppy and Swam- 
pis were to be kings in my stead, but understanding by my doctor that 



46 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Sheoppy secretly advised liiin not to cure me, and they both being with 
me, that I myself saw that they were given more to drink than to take 
notice of my last words, — ^for I had a mind to make a speech to them, 
and to my brethren, the English conmianders, therefore I refuse them to 
hv kings after me, and have now chosen my brother's son, lahkursoe, in 
their stead to succeed me. . . . Brother's son, I advise you to be 
plain and fair with all, both Indians and Christians, as I have been; I 
am very weak, otherwise I would have spoken more." 

The sub-divisions of the local tribes, as of the nations, were numerous, 
and government was of the simj)lest character consistent with good order. 
It might be said that every man was a law unto himself, yet he must not 
be lawless. The head of every tribe, the sachem, was its representative 
in tlie coimeils with neighboring tribes, or at the representative assem- 
blies of the nation. In all cases not requiring concerted action the tribes 
had independent discretion. Each nation had its emblem or totem, the 
form of which they drew upon rocks and trees as they paused, either 
to give notice to friends or warning to enemies. The Indians' totems 
cor'-esponded to the flags of modern nations. The totem of the nation 
to which the Tappans and Haverstraws belonged was a wolf. The chief 
possessions of the red brethren were held in common. Their land was 
never divided among individuals; the ownership was in the tribe, and 
was disposed of by the sachem with the consent of the people. 

There is but little data to estimate Indian populations. The total 
was not so large as might be supposed. The strength of the Six Nations 
did not exceed t/Cn thousand, and there are reasons for believing that the 
numbers of the Mahican and Lenape federations were but little greater 
respectively. The Ilackensacks, who were more numerous than the Tap- 
pans or Haverstraws, numbered about one thousand. All belonged to 
the great Algonkin family, which occupied the Atlantic coast from the 
Savannah river to Labrador. The dialects of all were related, and evi- 
dently at some distant day they had spoken the same tongue. The area 
occupied by the Algonkin family was more extensive than that of any 
other linguistic stock in America. 

Nature provided with a liberal hand for the necessaries of life. In 
tlie forests were great plenty of deer, beside wild turkeys, many par- 
tridges, wild ]iigcons flew in flocks of thousands. In the rivers and lakes 
and along the smaller water courses, especially in the spring and autumn, 
were all kinds of fowl in great numbers — swans, geese, ducks, teal and 



THE ABORIGINES. 47 

brant, wliich fell easy prey to woodsmen. Also in the country were pan- 
thers, bears, wolves and foxes. Fish abounded in the river, particularly 
pike, eeels, perch, lampreys, suckers, cattish, sunfish, shad, bass. In the 
spring, in May, a man with a hook and line, could catch in an hour, it 
is said, as many perch as ten or twelve persons could eat. The virgin 
soil yielded abundantly mth slight encouragement. All the natural 
productions were lu.xuriant. Where the primeval forests had not been 
ravaged by fires, the trees were large and beautiful. The Indians some- 
times burned the woods to more easily hunt deer. Wild fruit, berries 
and nuts were abundant in season: cherries, plums, mulbemes, currants, 
goosebeiTies, raspberries, cranberries and strawberries; chestnuts, beech- 
nuts, walnuts, butternuts, hazelnuts. Innumerahle medicinal plants 
were also to be found, and the Indians knew the properties of many of 
them and were skillful in using them. 

To keep their bodies comfortable in winter our predecessors in the 
land were well provided with furs and skins. For their feet tliey had 
deerskin mocassins; and other garments were composed of the same ma- 
terial. From the skins of beavers, martins, minks, squin-els or raccoons, 
they fashioned shirts, jackets and robes that were often handsome. It 
largely depended iipon the taste of the individual Indian how he was at- 
tired. For their couches they had undressed deer, panther or bear skins. 
The white settlers, w!io learned many things about hunting and general 
woodcraft from the children of the forests, adapted the buckskin gar- 
ments and mocassins when it was necessary for them to be much in the 
forests. They could travel much farther when so attired, with less 
fatigue. For his head the Indian disdained any covering. It was a 
matter of personal pride to be physically robust and hardened; to be men 
of great endurance, agility, athletic, muscular. As a warrior he must 
not only be fearless, but equal to every physical requirement. From 
his point of view he was a high type of physical manhood, and must 
not demean himself by manifesting weakness; he must endure torture 
without flinching and laugh in the face of danger. No one will chal- 
lenge the fact that the Xorth American Indians, and especially the mem- 
bers of the Hudson river tribes, were the masters and superiors of all 
other savage races. Even among the civilized races there were but few 
able to cope with them physically. 

Perhaps to add to their fierce aspect, they arranged their thick black 
hair in a peculiar manner. Cropping it close on the sides, they left a 



48 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

lock of about the width of three fingers, and two or three fingers in 
length, and being coarse and thick it stood on end like a rooster's comb. 
It was natural for them to have no beard. Their skin they painted red, 
blue or black at times; black was a sign of mourning; red, when applied 
in a certain way, meant war. When they traveled they took along some 
of their maize, a kettle, a wooden bowl and a spoon ; these they packed to- 
gether and hung on their backs. When they wished to build a camp- 
fire they obtained a flame quickly by rubbing certain kinds of wood to- 
gether in a particular way. 

In time of war the savage in them was supreme. Cruel then be- 
3^ond expression, they slew -without mercy and died without a sign of 
fear. Captives were subjected to fearful tortures. War was to the 
death and unspeakably horrible as they conducted it. This was the least 
admirable side of the Indian character. Their weapons, before the 
white man gave them firearms, were bows and arrows, spears, clubs, hat- 
chets and knives. Their arrow heads were made of flint, bone or copper, 
sharpened, barbed and poisoned. When shot with power these would 
penetrate a body like a musket ball. Their castles or strongholds were 
formed of heavy wooden stockades. When arranged to withstand a 
long siege, they contained living quarters, store houses and water sup- 
ply. To these the women and children would hasten in case of attack, 
and the men also, if outnumbered by the enemy. Pride made Indians 
brave. ISTone cared to show the white feather or to be called a coward. 
By a custom that was the same as law, every able-bodied man A\'ith every 
boy over the age of fourteen was a defender of his tribe or nation. War 
was declared after full consideration and imanimous decision. On the 
battle-field the chiefs were obeyed implicitly; they were chosen for their 
valor; but at the council fire of the tribe every member had an equal 
voice. 

The Indians made their houses for the most part of bark, with a 
frame work of poles, water tight and wann, and kindled fires in the mid- 
dle of them. When a son or daughter was married, an addition was built 
and a new hearth-fire lighted. Thus some of the houses became in the 
course of years very long, and a nimiber of fires burned therein, each 
representing a branch of the family. From bark they also made light 
canoes; by hollowing out and shaping the tnmks of suitable trees they 
constructed larger ones. Some of these could carry ten or twelve per- 
sons. Although there were no courts of justice for the punishment of 



THE ABORIGINES. 49 

offences, there was still a court of public opinion, and established cus- 
toms tliat could not be disregarded. Crimes against individuals were 
avenged by the parties agg-rieved; murder was avenged by the next of 
kin. But the colonists have left recorded their testimony that "not half 
so many murders and villainies were committed among the savages as 
among Christians." 

"O poor me! 
Who am going- out to fight the enemy, 
And know not whether I shall return again, 
To enjoy the embraces of my children 
And my wife. 
O poor creature! 

Whose life is not in his own hands, 
' Wtio has no power over his own body. 

But tries to do his duty. 
For the welfare of his nation. 
O thou Great Spirit above, 
Take pity on my children 
And on my wife. 

Prevent their mourning on my account, 
Grant that I may be successful in this attempt, 
That I may slay my enemy, 
And bring home the trophies of vvnar 
To my dear family and friends, 
That we may rejoice together. 
O take pity on me! 
Give me strength and courage 
To meet my enemy. 

Suffer me to return again to my children 
And to my wife. 
And to my relations. 
Take pity on me and preserve my life. 
And I will maJce thee a sacrifice. 

Going to war was termed figuratively "taking up the hatchet." The 
subject of grievance, the matter of alliances, and the messages brought 
by runners were considered in solemn conclave, and the chiefs would, 
the cause being STifficicnt, appeal in eloquent orations to the patriotism 
and courage of their braves: "The bones of your murdered country- 
men lie uncovered and demand revenge at our hands; their spirits loud- 
ly call upon us, and we must obey; still greater spirits watching over our 
honor inspire us to go in pursuit of the slayers of our brethren. Let ua 
follow their trail and devour them ! ... Do not sit inactive. . . 
Follow the impulse of your hereditary valor. Paint your faces, fill your 
quivers, make the woods echo with shoiits for revenge! Comfort the 
spirits of the deceased and revenge their blood." Rising, a war dance 
would begin, participation in this being equivalent to volunteering for 



so HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

the expedition. The war song of the Lenapes has thus been translated 
and recorded in history: 

References: Ruttenber's "Indian Tribes of Hiulson's River." Smith's His- 
tory of New .leTsey. "The Old New York Frontder" — Halsey. N. Y. Historical 
Society coUeictions. 



CHAPTEE V. 

INDIAN WARS. 

Encroachments of the Duitch — The Ooloiiy at Vrfiielsendael — Oonsequenccs 
of Stealing an Indian's Beaver Coat — Tappans Driven from Home By Mohawks 
— Massacres at Pavonia By Dutch Soldiers — Allied Tribes Take Revenge — Vrie- 
sendael Destroyed. 

THE denizens of the forest not only treated the newcomers from 
across the sea in a friendly manner, but were generous and help- 
ful in many ways. They saw the colony on Manhattan Island 
increase in population, and viewed with indifference the establishing 
of trading posts at several other places. For many years peace and amity 
existed between the two races. Such land as the settlers desired they 
could obtain for a triile, for the owners had j)lenty more. Thus, Man- 
hattan Island changed hands in consideration of the payment of sixty 
guilders, or about twenty-foiu- dollars, and the Manhattans, retiring 
northward, left the Dutch in full and undisputed possession of what is 
now the most valuable tract of land on the continent. But while they 
lived at peace with the newcomers, the Indians had troubles of their own. 
The ilahicans ^nd the Mohawks on tlie upjicr Hudson distiu-bed the pub- 
lic peace for about two years, so that most of the Christians fled froon 
Fort Orange to Manhattan and remained until the two nations smoked 
the pipe of peace again. 

Encouraged by the traders at Manhattan, the tribes began to spend 
much time in the hunting field, killing and trapping wild animals for 
tlieir furs, the trading post offering a market for all that could be obtain- 
ed. During the year 1632 the exports from New Netherlands amount 
ed to more than fifteen thousand skins, the greater number of which were 
beaver. The Indians on the lower river made frequent trips to the fort, 
but it was the custom of the interior or distant nations to make the jour- 
ney annually with their .supplies of furs. Such was the good feeling in 
this quarter, the fort on Manhattan Island was allowed to go to decay, 
open at every side and the guns off their carriages. The Dutch govern- 




a 
z 

w 

Z 
a: 
m 

H 
CO 

H 






73 



L 



INDIAN WARS. 51 

ment at Amsterdam gave a special riglit for exclusive trade with the 
natives to one finn, but many private persons, disregarding this charter, 
engaged openly in traffic, and wei-e generally able to secure skins of a 
quality superior to those wliich were offered to the company. Some of 
the free traders were ser\'ants of the company, but, becoming rich, re- 
signed from the employment and established large plantations. The 
profits of the fur trade were very great, and in the opinion of the new- 
comers, now was the time to make their fortunes. Spreading them- 
selves through the country, they built cabins and engaged in trade with 
the Indians, who were frequent visitors at their doors. These encroach- 
ments, unnoticed at first, in time became numerous and amioying. Even 
an Indian, however unselfish, could not bear with equanimity the sight 
of his com being trampled do^vn by a stranger's cattle. Then the au- 
thorities at New Amsterdam, now confident of their physical ability to 
enforce the measure, levied a tax of corn, furs or wampum against the 
original owners of the soil, to help defray, as they said, the expense of 
maintaining their military establishment, by wliich the Indians were 
protected from their enemies. These matters were naturally the sub- 
ject of serious consideration at tlie council fires of the tribes and nations, 
and sigiis of the first estrangement began to appear. Reports also reach- 
ed the river tribes from Fort Orange that their old-time enemies, the Mo- 
hawks, were being supjjlied with firearms, while they of the Unamis aTid 
Mahican nations were unable to obtain any. Director-General Kieft 
had forbidden the furnishing of firearms to the natives under pain of 
death, but he either countenanced the act, or was unable to prevent the 
Mohawks (of the Six JvTations) from receiving weapons, which placed 
them at a great advantage over all other nations. Tlie river tribes ap- 
pealed again and again to the Dutch authorities against this discrimina- 
tion, but without avail. On the other hand, any Mohawk who had col- 
lected twenty beaver skins could exchange them for a musket at any free 
trader's house in his country, and the equivalent of ten or twelve giiilders 
would buy a pound of powder. Many private individuals, desirous of 
obtaining the large profits that accrued from the traffic, imported fire- 
arms and ammunition from Holland in quantities and disposed of them 
to the Mohawks, who in a short time became well equipped, while the 
river tribes remained comparatively defenceless. The natural conse- 
quence followed immediately; the thunderbolts of war were loosed and 
warriors from the Long House of the Six Nations scattered death and de- 



52 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

struction among their neighbors along the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes. 

While the Tappans, in common with the Mahicans and the other riv- 
er Indians, were brooding over annoyances and particularly the partial- 
ity of the Dutch for the Iroquois federation, Director-General Kieft de- 
termined to exact the tribute of corn, furs and wampum. In pursuit of 
this object, he sent out an armed sloop on a collecting expedition, first to 
the Tappans. When he landed and made known his errand, a council 
was called, and in the course of the proceeding's the agent of the Dutch 
West India Company was clearly and emphatically informed as to the 
state of mind existing in that tribe. ''The Sakenia of the fort," ex- 
claimed the chiefs of the Tappans, "must be a mean fellow; he has not 
invited them to come and live here, that he should now take away their 
corn." The tax was not collected, nor was any violence offered the In- 
dians. 

For the first time the Tappans manifested ill-will toward their white 
brethren, and were evidently prepared to resist an attempted enforce- 
ment of the proclamation of taxation. With dignity one of the chiefs 
reproached the Dutch for being "men of blood," alluding to some un- 
called for deeds in another part of the country, and another warrior in- 
timated that though they might be strong on the water, they were weak 
on the land. Upon his return to Manhattan the Director-General, feel- 
ing that he liad cause for alarm, issued an order for the troops and fort 
to be made ready for defence, for every civilian to provide himself with 
a gun, and for the people at large upon hearing the discharge of three 
cannon to ha.sten at once to the fort. Up to this time the Hudson 
river Indians had kept their war hatchets buried; no wrong had ever 
come to the white people from them. Though a crisis had now arisen, a 
governor less headstrong a.nd tyrannical tlian Kieft might have saved 
his countrymen much sorrow. 

A trifling incident, which, especially in the then inflamed state of af- 
fairs, should have been overlooked, was made the excuse for an atrocious 
assault against the Indians. One morning some swine were missing from 
the plantation of Captain De Vries, on Staten Island, and though the 
offence was at once charged against the nearest Indians, the Haritans, in- 
quiry would have disclosed that some of the Director-General's own men 
had committed the depredation. Forthmth, a force of fifty soldiers 
was sent against the nearest Raritan village, and although the Indians 
offered to make good a loss for which they were in no wise responsible, 



INDIAN WARS. S3 

the soldiers fell upon them, killed or butchered several of their number 
and burnt their crops. This occurred in the year 1G40. 

The previous spring Captain David P. De Vries, sailing from Fort 
Amsterdam in his own sloop, on a journey to Fort Orang-e, to see the 
country, an'ived tlic first evening at Tappan (now Piennont), where he 
found a beautiful plateau, some two hundred feet above the river, where 
the hills fall back. Pleased with the place, he opened negotiations with 
the Tappan tribe for its purchase, and at a small cost became the owner. 
Having been on good terms with all the Indians on the lower river, he 
was the more easily able to make the purchase. The tract consisted of 
about five himdred acres, and besides having the advantage of being at 
no great distance from Fort Amsterdam, contained an extensive bed of 
clay. David Peterson De Vries had been a resident of the country since 
1630, when, coming from Holland, he and seven of the Directors of the 
Dutch West India Company, among whom was Van Rensselaer, form- 
ed an association for planting a colony on the Delaware river, where they 
intended to raise tobacco and grain, and, with a ship that they o^\^led, 
prosecute whale fishery. Although the Company considered this en- 
terprise an invasion of its vested rights, the colony was allowed to re- 
main. But, two years later, Indians in revenge for some wrong de- 
scended on the place and destroyed it, and all the inhabitants, thirty-four 
in number, were massacred. De Vries, returning from a voyage to Hol- 
land, found the bones of his murdered people unburied and his buildings 
in ruins. A few years before his visit to Tappan he had purchased land 
on Staten Island, some Holland merchants being partnei's in the trans- 
action, and had foimded a colony there with immigTants from the old 
coimtry. He hoped that this new place would be more secure from at- 
tack than the old one on the Delaware, which had been destroyed. 
AVhile his o%vn private residence and estate was situated on the bank of 
the Hudson above Fort, Amsterdam, he had never until now sailed up the 
river. His estate on Manhattan Island was a large one, with "hay 
enough for two himdred head of cattle." His intention in buying Tap- 
pan was to send a company of immigrants there — not to make the place 
his own abode. The colonists came in the autumn of 1641, and at once 
proceeded to erect habitations. This was the first white settlement with- 
in the territory of Rockland county. The name Vriesendale was given 
to it. Frederick De Vries, Secretary of the City of Amsterdam, Hol- 
land, and a manager of the West India Company, was a brother and 



54 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

partner of Captain David De Vries. The ucxt year another colony was 
established, wathin an hour's walk of this one, by !MJ^ldert JMyudcrtsen 
van der IIoi*st, from Utrecht, Holland. The second plantation extend- 
ed from Newark Bay north toward Tappan, and included the valley of 
the Hackinsack river. The headquarters of the settlement was but five 
"or six hundred paces from the principal village of the Ilackensack In- 
dians. Each settlement was essentially a trading post. 

Meanwhile, the Raritans had not forgotten their treatment at the 
hands of Kieft's soldiers, and, after the manner of their race, had been 
thii-sting for revenge. When a favorable moment arrived, they de- 
scended upon De Vries' 2>lantation at Staten Island and destroyed his 
building-s and killed four of his plantere. Kieft, for some reason, sent 
no troops ag-ainst the Raritans, though the provocation was greater than 
when he dispatched the punative expedition of the preceding year; but 
instead he offered a reward of ten fathoms of wampum for the head of 
every Karitan. So far as known, the reward was claimed but once, when 
an Indian of the Haverstraw tribe appeared at the fort with the head of 
a dead man fastened to the end of a stick. Tradition says it was the 
head of the chief of the Raritans, and that the Indian who brought it was 
a chief of the Haverstraws, in testimony of his friendship for the "Swan- 
nekins," as the Dutch were called by the red men. After having thus 
squared accounts, the Raritans and the authorities at the fort came to 
terms and smoked the pipe of peace; and not even when all the other 
tribes raised the hatchet against the pale faces did the Raritans break 
the pledge they then gave. 

Until 1643 the Tappans and Haverstraws lived in peace wnth the 
newcomers. Then the stealing of a beaver-skin coat from an Indian 
at Hackinsack was the immediate occasion for an outbreak. Dutch li- 
quor had begim to do its work among the aborigines, most of whom, nn- 
flble to resist its fascination, would sacrifice anything they possessed to 
obtain it. For the sake of easy and profitable traffic, the colonists had 
been willing to give to the Indians what proved in many instances disas- 
trous alike to savage and to settler. A yoimg Hackinsack had gone to 
the trading post and stupified himself \\'itli rum. Upon coming some- 
what to his senses, and missing his fine coat, he accused the "Swanne- 
kins" of stealing it and swore vengeance. Captain De Vries at that mo- 
ment was coming from his plantation at Vriesendale through the woods, 
f^nd meetino' the intoxicated and enraged brave, was informed of what 



INDIAN WARS. SS 

I'ad happened. "You are a good cliief," said the Hackinsack; "when we 
nsit you we get milk to drink for nothing." He bore no ill-will toward 
the white chief, but he was going to his lodge for his weapons, and would 
kill tlie first Swannekin he met. !Not many hours after the news came 
that he had kept his vow; an unoffending immigrant had been slain un- 
awares, as he was roofing the house of the owner of the trading post at 
Hackinsack. 

The whole countryside flew to arms; anxiety and fear prevailed. A 
deputation of Indian chiefs somewhat allayed alarm by visiting Captain 
De Vries, who was president of the advisory council of Twelve for the 
province, and repudiating the acts of their younger brother. They of- 
fered to make atonement in money, but could not deliver up the mur- 
derer, who had tied to the mountains, among the Ilaverstraws. And, 
besides, he was a chief's son, and therefore could not be molested, ac- 
cording to their code. Captain De Vries advised them to proceed to 
Fort Amsterdam and make their explanation in person to Director-Gen- 
eral Kieft; to ensure their safe return he would accompany them. Ui> 
on hearing the appeal the Greneral declared that justice in such a case 
could only be satisfied by the punishment of the murderer. He de- 
nounced in solemn words the enormity of the crime, and declined any 
atonement of money. Oritany, the great sachem of the Hackensaeks, 
while regretting the crime, expressed the opinion that "the Swannekiiis 
ought not to sell fire-water to our young men to make them crazy. Your 
own people fight with knives and commit fooleries when drunk." 

That mnter, in February, an attack which the river Indians had long 
apprehended as a consequence of selling firearms indiscriminately to the 
Six Nations was made. Suddenly and ferociously a hundred Mohawks, 
every one armed -svitli a musket, against which a bow and arrow was a 
poor defence, fell upon the villages on both sides of the river below the 
Highlands and pillaged them. Surprised and inadequately equipped, 
the people could make no defence ; their only safety was in flight. Those 
on the east side of the river fled toward Manhattan Island, seeking refuge 
among the settlers and at the fort; while on the west side the fugitives 
first came Vriesendael, and then ovei-flowed to Hackensack and Pavo- 
nist For two weeks, while the dreaded Mohawks remained in the vi- 
ciniir, they lived on the bounty of the Dutch. At this juncture Kieft 
was virged by some brutal spirits in his community to take advantage of 
the opportunity to punish the river Indians for several offences, but 



56 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

others, notably De Vries, advised against such action. Public opinion 
at Manhattan had long been divided on the question of the treatment 
to be accorded the Indians, and now upon the presentation of a formal 
petition by a few who assumed to speak for the whole commiinity the 
General decided in favor of inflicting a terrible punishment upon the de- 
fenceless refugees, and issued the following orders: 

"Whereas, the inhabitants in our neighborhood continue to reside in 
the country under great alarm, and cultivate their land in anxiety, 
through fear of the savages, who now and then have murdered some of 
them in a most villainous manner, without any previous provocation, and 
we cannot obtain any satisfaction for these massacres; we must therefore 
appeal to our anns, so that we may live here in security. In the full con- 
fidence that God will crown our rcsohitions with success; moreover, as 
the commonality solicits on the 22nd day of February, 1643, that we 
may execute the same; we therefore hereby authorize Maryn Andriasen, 
at his request, to attack a party of savages skulking beliind Corker's 
Hook, or plantation, and act with them in every manner as they deem 
proper, and the time and opportunity shall permit. 

"Sergeant Rodolf is commanded and authorized to take under liis 
command a troop of soldiers, and lead them to Pavonia, and drive away 
and destroy the savages being behind Jan Evertsen's, biit to spare, as 
much as possible, their wives and children, and to take the savages pris- 
oners. . . . The exploit is to be executed at night, with the great- 
est caution and prudence. Our God may bless the expedition." 

No pen can fully describe the hoiTors of that night between the 25th 
and 26th of February. Crossing over to Pavonia, the soldiers silently 
surrounded the camp of the refugee Tappans and HavcrstrawB, who 
were already mourning the death of fathers and sons at the hands of the 
Mohawks, and siiifering privations attendant upon being driven from 
their homes in mid-winter. At midnight the massacre began. Captain 
De Vries, the proprietor of Vriesendael, in the country of the Tappans, 
was a distiint eye-witness. He was at Director-General Kieft's that 
night. When seated at table that evening the commander had told his 
guest of a desire to make the savages "wipe their chops." De Vries had 
remonstrated long with him, especially pointing out what the result of 
"jangling with the Indians" on the Delaware and Staten Island had 
been. "You will go," said he, "to break the Indians' heads, but it is 
our nation that you are going to murder." Kief t answered that the Cap- 



INDIAN WARS. S7 

tain might be assured there woiild be no danger. As the night advanc- 
ed, after the sokliers and anned civilians had left, he took a seat in the 
iiitchen by the fire. "At midnight I heard loud shrieks," he wrote in 
his journal, "and went out to the parapet of the fort and looked toward 
Pavonia. I saw nothing but the flashing of the guns. I heard no more 
the cries of the Indians. They were butchered in their sleep." He re- 
entered the house, with his heart aching for his poor friends, the Tap- 
pans. Presently an Indian, with his squaw, who had li\'ed near Vries- 
endale, came into the room. He had escaped from the slaughter in a 
skiff. "The Fort Orange Indians have fallen on us," said he, "and we 
nave come to hide ourselves in the fort." "It is no time to hide in the 
fort — No Indians have done this deed. It is the work of the Swanne- 
kins — the Dutch," answered De Vries, as he led them to the gate. 

Eighty human beings were murdered that night at Pavonia, and 
thirty at Corlaer's Hook, under the most horrible circumstances. Some 
of those who escaped instant death and dragged their mutilated bodies 
towards the fort, not realizing that it was the lair of their enemies, had 
had their hands struck off; some were found with legs missing; others 
"were supporting their entrails vnth their hands." 

Unwilling to believe at first that the Christians had committed the 
shameful deed, the red men burned with hatred when they realized the 
truth. The hatchet was raised, war whoops rang through the land; the 
white invaders should be made to know the power of the race they had 
despised. Eleven tribes, including the Tappans and Haverstraws — than 
whom none were more furious — allied themselves for revenge. The in- 
cautious Kieft when giving orders for the massacres had not reckoned 
on the consequences to his own people. Scattered among the Indians 
for thirty miles north and east and twenty west and south, were now 
many small settlements and detached cabins. Among these the toma- 
hawk, scalping knife and firebrand were soon committing deeds no less 
horrible than the atrocities which the Christians had perix?trated. Erom 
the Ramapo to the Connecticut the cries of agonized mortals and the 
flames of desecrated hearths ascended to heaven; and the directors at 
Fort Amsterdam realized that in signing the deaiJi warrants of innocent 
natives they had also signed the death warrants of their own countr^micn. 

Among the places burned was Captain De Vries' private plantation; 
his cattle, tobacco, haystacks and everything except his house was de- 
stroyed. His workmen and their families saved themselves by taking 



58 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

refuge in the dwelling, which they successfully defended until an In- 
dian, coming late on the scene, intei-posed to save the dwelling and re- 
lated how Captain De Vries had once befriended him. The assailants 
ceased firing; then with signs of regret and good will departed. The 
mediator was the Indian who had come to De Vries at the 
Governor's on the night of the Pavonia massacre. Uiwn his first 
meeting with the Governor, De Vries asked him if he did not now see 
that he had made a mistake. Kieft made no answer. With the bodies 
of his countrymen strewing the forests, with the fort crowded with fugi- 
tives, and as many as could go hastening to return to Holland, the ciTor 
that had been committed was only too apparent. The commander-in- 
chief was reproached on every hand; even his life was in danger. 

When the carnage had continued about a week, three Indians with 
a white flag came to the fort and asked that commissioners be sent to a 
conference with their cliiefs, on the seashore, some miles away. Two 
representatives were sent, one being Capt. De Vries. They an-ived at 
the appointed place that evening, but the council did not meet until the 
next morning. Then sixteen chiefs placed themselves in a circle around 
the whites, and one, who had a bimdle of small sticks in his hand, com- 
menced a speech. "He related," \vrites De Vries "that when we first 
arrived on their shores we were sometimes in want of food; they gave 
us beans and corn, and let us eat oysters and fish, and now for recom- 
pense we murdered their people. Here he laid down one little stick — 
this was one point of accusation. The men who in your first trips you 
left here to barter your goods until yoiir return, these men have been 
treated by us as we Avould have done by our eyeballs. He laid down an- 
other stick." . . . The result of the conference was the going of 
all the chiefs to see the Governor at the fort, where other warriors, 
among them a party of Tappans and Hackensack chiefs and leaders, join- 
ed the council. Peace was ostensibly made, presents were exchanged — 
but everything was not satisfactory to the Indians, and they left grum- 
bling. One presently came back and gave warning, but hostilities were 
suspended until September, when nine Indians, believed to have been 
Tappans, killed four soldiers unawares at Pavonia, and bunied all the 
houses there. They carried a Dutch lad captive to Tappan. War with 
all its horrors was resumed. The father of the Dutch boy came with 
the Governor to De Vries, to beg him to go to the Indians and free his 



INDIAN WARS. 59 

son. With two Indians the proprietor of Vriensendael sailed in a pri- 
vateer to Tappan, and returned in safety with tlie child. 

Resolved to stay no longer in a land where he had experienced so 
many sorrows and losses, De Vries went to General Kieft and bade hira 
farewell, saying that "vengeance for innocent blood which he had shed 
in his murderings would sooner or later come on his head." He sailed 
on a fisherman's vessel to Virginia, "in order to proceed from thence to 
Europe," and Rockland county knew him no more. He was evidently a 
just as well as enterprising man. 

Fifteen hundred warriors were now on the warpath, and to oppose 
them the Dutch had no more than three hundred men, including about 
fifty soldiers. Many Christians had fled back to Holland. The bar- 
barians swept tlie country, and by destrojang all that had not been de- 
stroyed before, made it utterly desolate. In one way and another, but 
principally by capture, they had well equipped themselves ^vith gTins and 
ammunition. Unburdened by their families, who had been sent far into 
the interior, they were free to execute vengeance. Even the Mohawks 
now feared them and came not near. Fort Amsterdam would have fallen 
an easy prey had it been attacked, and the gan-ison, with little ammuni- 
tion, expected every day to be overwhelmed. Not a plough could be put 
in the ground, and no one dared go far from the fort alone. Exactly 
when or under what circumstances Vriesendael, the first white settle- 
ment in Rockland county, met its fate is unknown. It went down in tlic 
general crasli. Let us liope that but few if any souls perished at its fall. 

"WTint doth the Indian love? Revengie. 

What doth he fight for? Revenge. 

WhaJt doth he pray for? Revenge. 

It is sweet as the flesh of a young bear; 

For this he goes hungry, roaming the desert. 

Living on berries, or che\ving the rough bark 

Of the Oiak, and drinking the slimy pool." 

In his extremity the Director-General asked the commonality to se- 
lect an advisory committee from their number, and eight men were ap- 
pointed to aid Eeft with their counsel. One of their first acts was to 
send an appeal for help to Holland, but they did not neglect to cliarge 
the Director with bringing on hostilities with the Indians without suf- 
ficient cause, and to demand his removal. In May (1644) unexpected 
help arrived in the fonu of a Dutch man-of-war, which landed a force of 
150 soldiers, together witli fifty other armed men. The Dutch sought 
diligently to secure peace with the Indians, but the war continued with 



60 HISTORY OF ROCKL,AND COUNTY. 

all the incidents of such a struggle until August, 1645, during all of 
which period the river Indians were masters of their country, except 
at Fort Amsterdam. Fort Orange was outside of the field of carnage. 
On August 30, as the result of previous negotiations, the sachems of the 
surrounding tribes came to a council at Manhattan. In a pleasant glade 
outside the fort the sacliems of the Haverstraws and Tappans, with dele- 
gates from Long Island, Oritany of the Hackensacks, Aepjen, chief of 
the Mahicans proper, who also represented the Sint Sings, Wappingnecks 
and other east side tribes of the river, besides some mediators from the 
Iroquois confederacy, had a long "talk" with the Governor and his advis- 
ors, and as the result Christians and barbarians bound themselves sol- 
emnly and finnly to keep the peace thereafter. No white man should 
go armed to an Indian village without permission; no armed In- 
dian to approach a Christian's dwelling. Each party pledged to apply 
in case of difficulty to the proper authorities, so that justice could be 
administered. The sixth of September following was observed in the 
churches as a day of thanksgiving. The hatchet was buried and the Eu- 
ropean had come to stay. 



CHAPTER VI. 

APPORTIONING THE LANDS. 

Second Attempt at Colonization — The English Seize the Province — The 
Christian Patented Lands of Haverstraw— Town of Orange — Apportioning the 
Lands — Beginnings of Government — List of Pioneers — Life in the Wilderness — 
Colonel Mac Gregorie. 

WILLIAM KIEFT, as Director-General, or Governor, of the prov- 
ince, was in May, 1047, superseded by Peter Stuyvesant, who 
had for several years been in the service of the West India 
Company, as Director of its colony at Curacoa, off the coast of Soutli 
America. The new officer was distinguished for bravery as well as en- 
ergy, and had lost a leg in fighting the battles of his country. For three 
months Kieft tarried at Fort Amsterdam, and when he sailed it was not 
for a safe voyage home to Holland, but to be shipwrecked and drowned 
on the coast of Wales. Immediately upon Stu^Tosant's accession he 



References: N. Y. Hist. Soc. Does. — Rnttenber's Indian Tribes of Hudson's 
River — O'Callaghnn's New Netherlard — 0e Vries' .Journal — Brodhead's New 
York. 



APPORTIONING THE LANDS. 61 

determined upon a reform in tlie manner of government that would re- 
lieve him of some of the responsibility and perliaps enable him to avoid 
the mistakes into wliieli his predecessor fell. He organized a council 
representative of and chosen by the commonality, and consisting of nine 
members. The council suggested various important measures for the 
upbuilding of the province to which the Governor gave his consent, and 
in carrying out which he gained the good-will of the Indians so lately in 
revolt, and restored harmony among all classes. But at best it was an 
autocratic government. The governors sent out were merely managers 
in a commercial corporation, who at least until now had given little con- 
sideration to the welfare of independent settlers, or to matters not con- 
nected with the traffic which their company carried on — "the hardy, ad- 
venturous, lawless, fascinating fur trade." The result of that policy 
had been physical and financial disaster, and now a new start must be 
made along a different line. The wishes of the "people" should hence- 
forth be more consulted, and some special advantages should be held out 
to home builders. 

The farmer upon his arrival with his family from over the sea was 
now granted by the Company for the tenn of si.x years a "Tjouwerie," or 
farm, which was partly cleared and a good part of it fit for the plough. 
The Company then furnished the farmer with a house, bam, farming 
implements and tools, together with four horses, four cows, sheep and 
pigs, the "usufruct and enjoyment of which" the husbandman had dur- 
ing the six years, when he was expected to return the number of cattle 
he had received. The increase remained with him, but he was required 
to pay a yearly rental of one hundred guilders and eighty poimds of but- 
ter. It is stated in official papers that the people who took advantage of 
this offer all prospered during the tenn of their residence on the Com- 
pany's lands. But the "bouweries" remained the property of the great 
corporation, and at the expiration of the term of his lease the husband- 
man was expected to make new arrangements. 

In this connection it is interesting to read that certain freedom and 
exemptions were allowed to "all those who shall be willing to repair to 
JSiew ISTctherland," but the nature of the conditions was such that only 
a "privileged few" comparatively speaking, could avail themselves of the 
offer. An individual might purchase of the Indian owners a tract of 
land on which to plant a colony, or establish a manor, provided that he 
should agree to begin the cultivation of the land within one year of the 



62 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

date of purchase, and, further, that each proprietor shoukl ship to liis 
plantation in the course of four years at least one hundred souls, all 
above the age of fifteen. The Indians could be satisfied for their lands 
by a few trifles, but the deed had to be signed by both parties to the trans- 
action in the presence of some member of the Company. He who es- 
tablished such a colony was to be considered a patroon or chief, in whom 
were centered all the rights pertaining to the position. He could admin- 
ister justice, appoint ofiicers and magistrates, arrange for the service of 
a clergyman and schoolmaster, and make use of the title of his colony 
according to his pleasure and qTiality, all, however, with the knowledge 
and consent of the Assembly of Fifteen. A patent to authorize the dis- 
posal of this feudal estate by will was to be granted to every patroon 
who desired it. Avowedly the owner was a sort of feudal lord, owing 
allegiance to the West India Company and to the .States General, but 
independent of control within the limits of his own territory. His es- 
tate could be four leagues in length on the river, and extend inland as 
far as the patroon desired. Or, if he desired to have his manor on both 
sides of the river, he might claim two leagues along each shore. More- 
over, the Company promised not to take from the service of a pa- 
troon any colonist, whether man or woman, son or daiighter, man-ser- 
vant or maid-servant, or permit any other proprietor to do so, or permit 
any colonist, tenant or servant to leave his patroon except by previously 
written consent of the latter, during the term of contract. Shoidd any 
colonist run away to another patroon, or take liis freedom without per- 
mission, the Company promised to have him, so far as lay in its power, 
returned to his patroon, to be proceeded against by the master according 
to the circumstances of the case. 

The system was a fonn of feudalism, under which the coloni.sts, 
while not serfs, were far from being free and independent citizens. The 
first colony in Kockland county, "Vriesendael," was organized under 
this law. Director Michael Paauw in the same way had previously es- 
tablished "Pavonia." Killean Van Eensselaer, with some of his brother 
Directors, founded the colony called "Rensslaei-wyck." (The pri^'i- 
leges of a patroon were at first restricted to the members of the Com- 
pany.) The estates and fortimes of many families of the present time 
had their beginning under the rule of the Dutch "West India Company. 

The second attempt to foimd a colony in the territory now included 
in Rockland county was begun in the year 1651, by Cornelius Wcrck- 







E- 

w 



o 
a. 



o 
xn 
o 



a 
> 



APPORTIONING THE LANDS. 63 

hoven, who is described in the records as "Councillor of the Municipality 
and ex-Schepen of the City of Utrecht," who appeared at the office of the 
"West India Company at Amsterdam and declared himself Patroon of 
two colonies which he intended to establish in T^Tew Netherland, "one 
beginning at the Navesinck and stretching northward to the colony of 
the lord of ^N'ederhorst, the other beginning at Tappan and stretching 
northward through the Highlands, both subject to the conditions and 
conforming to the rules lately made by the Company," quoting from the 
official entry made at the chamber of Amsterdam, "and delivered to their 
High: Might: for approval, or such other privileges and exemptions as 
may be granted hereafter by the aforesaid Company, with the knowledge 
of their High: Might:. The aforesaid Hon. Van Werckhovcn prom- 
ised to act in everything properly, and for the service of the Company, 
while His Honor receives on the part of the Company a promise of ev- 
ery help, favor and assistance possible, in witness whereof this record has 
been made on the day and in the year as above: 

"The Directors of the Incorporated West India Company, to all who 
shall see this or hear it read. Greeting! Know ye, that they have con- 
sented and authorized, as they herewith consent and authorize, His Hon- 
or, Cornelis Van Werckhoven, . . . that he may as Patroon estab- 
lish a colony in New Netherland, beginning at Tappan, near the colony 
of Nederhorst, and stretching northward through the Highlands, all 
subject to the conditions and conforming to the rules lately made by the 
Company, and submitted to their High: Might: the Lord States General 
for approval as may be granted hereafter by the aforesaid Company with 
the knowledge of their High: Might:. They order, charge and request 
every one whom this may in any way concern not to hinder his said Hon- 
or, Cornelis Werckhoven, herein, but to help, favor and assist him when 
necessary, whereas this has been decided to be for the benefit of the Com- 
pany. This done at a meeting at Amsterdam, the 7th of November, 
1651." (The same for a colony beginning at the Navesinck and stretch- 
ing northward to the colony of the lord of Nedorhoret.) 

Upon revie\ving the foregoing document, the Company's Directors 
at Amsterdam perceived that it was indefinitely and loosely drawn. Even 
in a country where and at a time when land was so easily obtaine<l by 
gentlemen of influence, it was desirable that boundaries should be more 
precisely stated. Again, the distance "from Tappan into the High- 



64 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

lands" was more than f onr leagues ; and finally, Baron Van dcr Capellen 
had already obtained title to a part of the Navesinck country covered by 
Van "Werckhoven's claim. The result was that the councillor did not 
fouud a colony at Tappau, but accepted instead of the tracts asked for 
an estate on Long Island, fronting on New York Bay at or near the Nar- 
rows. 

Kockland county was not destined to have a lord's "manor," or to 
receive a colony of any kind under the Dutch dispensation. New Eng- 
land under the English Massachusetts Company was flourishing, but 
New Netherland, under the Dutch West India Company, after forty 
years of possession, was but very slightly advanced. Rockland county 
merely shared the general backwardness of the province. Tlie next and 
last decade of feudalism in the Hudson valley was attended by better 
progress, which was due in part to modifications in the government, as 
well as to the subsidanco of Indian troubles. T\leanwhile the English 
had been making aggressions; their field of influence had extended to 
J.ong Island and the western part of Connecticut; the right of Holland 
to possess even the Hiidson river valley was denied. "Maryland," de- 
clared Lord Baltimore's Secretary, "extends to the limits of New Eng- 
land." "And New England, so they claim, doth extend to Maryland," 
answered the Dutch envoy; "where then remains New Netherlands" 
The question was determined in the year 1664, when a sort of bucca- 
neering expedition sent from England by the Duke of York demanded 
and received the surrender of the country. 

The English forces, which consisted of thi-ee ships of the line and 
one armed transport carrying three full companies, commanded by Col- 
onels NicoUs, Carr and Cartwright, sailed from Portsmouth for Gar- 
diner's Bay on the 15th of May. Before proceeding on to the Hudson, 
Colonel Nicolls demanded military aid from the English authorities in 
New England, and designated the west end of Long Island as the place 
of rendezvous. Although Holland received timely warning of the ex- 
pedition, no measures were taken for the protection of the colony. The 
West India Company at Amsterdam saw the danger of the situation, but 
was powerless to send out an ojjposing force, while tlie Dnteli jieople at 
large in Holland seemed to take but little interest in the matter, 'i'en 
weeks had been consumed in the voyage across the ocean, but the squad- 
ron did not appear at the moiith of the Hudson until about the middle 



APPORTIONING THE LANDS. 65 

of August. The troops were landed at New Utrecht T3ay, a spot since 
hirtorical as the place of Lord Howe's landing- in 1776. Here NicoUs, 
the commander of the land force, waited \intil joined b\ militia from 
Mas.sachusetts, Connecticut and Long Island. The strength of the Eng 
lish being overwhelming, the futility of resistance was apparent to all 
in Xew Amsterdam, thoiigh Stuyvesant would have made a figlit vAth 
his little force had he not been dissuaded by the earnest appeals of the 
citizens. 

The terms of capitulation, which wci-e ratified on the 29tli of Au- 
gust, confinned the inhabitants in the possession of their property, the 
exercise of religion and their freedom as citizens. The first act of Col- 
onel Nicolls on taking possession was to give orders that the city of New 
Amsterdam be henceforth called New York and the fort Fort James. 
At this time the population of the city did not exceed fifteen hundred 
souls, and the pro^dnce ten thousand, while the number of the Eng- 
lish in New England exceeded sixty thousand. Colonel Cartwright took 
a force xvp the river and received the surrender of Fort Orange, tlie name 
of which was changed then to Albany, in honor of a title of the Duke 
of York, brother of Charles the Second and heir apparent to the throne. 
While the colony had been changed at one stroke from a Dutch to an 
English possession, it must not be presumed that institutions that had 
been established for half a century as quickly disappeared to make way 
for new ones. The Dutch impress had been too deep for that. The 
people of that nationality remained, and in the course of years many 
came from the old coimtry to join them, notwithstanding the change of 
flag. For a generation or more they continued to be the leaders in local 
affairs. It has often been said that the colony became flourishing only 
after the English took possession, which is tiiie; but the principal ele- 
ment in the colony continued to be the Dutch. Under opportunities 
that had been denied them by the old flag, the sturdy. God-fearing 
and industrious people worked out successful careers in this region, and 
left an honored name. Dutch was still the prevailing language in 
many places a century or more later. At the old church at Tappan the 
services on alternate Sundays were conducted in the Dutch language 
until 1830. The patent of the Duke of York, for whom Governor 
Nicolls acted as personal representative, authorized him to make and 
execute all laws Jiecessa.ry for carrying on the government ; but while 
possessing arbitrary power, the new governor chose to show moderation 



66 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

and at the same time discretion. Ilis principal task was to bring the 
IJutch people under the English laws, as promulgated by the Duke of 
York, but the code was only gradually applied in practice. The changes 
immediately made were more in terms than in substance, except that the 
Dutch inhabitants were required to take an oath of allegiance to the gov- 
ernment or suffer confiscation of their property. The time had now 
come for the opening up of the territory embraced in this county. When 
English i-ule began the Indians still controlled the country along the 
west side of the Hudson; the white man had not yet returned to the land 
from which they had once been driven. 

Some time prior to July 31, 1666, a Dutch merchant in New York 
city named Btilthazer De Harte purchased from the Haverstraw In- 
dians practically the entire river front of their country. He bargained 
with and satisfied them for all the land lying between "the hills called 
Verdrietig Hook" on the south and the Highlands on the north, "on the 
east side of the mountains, so that the same is bounded by Hvidson's river 
and round about by high mountains." This was but one of several 
tracts of land which De Harte purchased, not for a homestead or colony, 
but simply to add to his possessions, and because tracts could be obtained 
for a trifle that perhaps in the future could be disposed of at a profit. 
Under the English law lie was not required to establish a colony there- 
on, or to ciiltivate the soil, but the owner of such an estate had no spe- 
cial privileges or exemptions, as imder the Dutch regime; he was not a 
patroon or lord of a manor. It was a system, however, which permitted 
abuses. There being no limit to the amount of land that could be "pur- 
chased" from the Indians for little or nothing, an era of wholesale "land 
grabbing" was a consequence at a later period. De Harte rested con- 
tent Avith his Indian deed and its indefinite description until 1671, when, 
desiring to have a better title, he applied to Governor Carteret and the 
Council of ISTew Jersey for a patent. The general supposition then was 
that Haverstraw was in the province of New Jersey, and outside of New 
York. Before New Netherland had been conquered by the British, and 
while the fleet that was to demand and receive the capitulation of the 
country was yet upon the sea, on its way to New Amsterdam, the Duke 
of York had been prevailed upon to bestow upon two of his favorites, 
Sir George Carteret, then Governor of the Cliannel Island of Jei-sey, 
and Lord Berkeley, who was then treasurer of the Duke's household, 



APPORTIONING THE LANDS. 67 

the great tract of land "hereafter to be called by the name of New Ce- 
sarea, or New Jersey." The northern boimdary of the tract was de- 
scribed as being from the "northernmost branch of the said bay or river 
of Delaware, which is forty-one degTees and forty minutes of latitude. 
. in a straight line to Hudson's river in forty-oue degrees of lat- 
itude." The general understanding was at first that the boundary line 
was in the vicinity of the Highlands, at or near Stony Point. 

De Ilarte's original purchase covered land north as well as south of 
the Minisceongo, but having sold the portion north of the creek to Nich- 
olas Depiiy and Peter Marius, his application to the New Jersey author- 
ities was for a patent on the remainder, whicli request was granted April 
10, 1671. The sale of the other portion was subsequently ratified and 
confirmed for the successors of Depuy and Marius by the authorities of 
New York. The patent to De Ilarte was for a tract estimated to con- 
tain 400 acres. When the owner made his will, less than a year later 
(Jan. 4, 1672), he bequeathed to his brother Jacobus "all the land of 
Haverstroo purchased of the Indians by the testator, and the patent 
granted by Gov. Philip Carteret." When the division line between 
New York and New Jersey was finally settled, Jacobus De Harte ob- 
tained a patent for his Haverstraw property, his brother having died. 
This document was obtained December 19, 1685. It will be noted that 
while Balthazer De Harte bought from the Indians the land which was 
the basis of nearly all the subsequent grants in the district, only a por- 
tion of the tract passed into the possession of and was confirmed by pat- 
ent to his brother Jacobus. The whole became known as the "Chris- 
tian Patented Lands of Haverstraw." 

On April 16, 1671 (only six days after the granting of the first De 
Harte patent), Claes Jansen, who had been living in New Jersey, re- 
ceived a patent for a tract of land lying on the river, "at the north end 
of Tappan, at a brook, thence northeasterly along the river forty chains," 
etc., the whole containing 240 acres. It is not related that Jansen sat- 
isfied the Indians for this farm, but presumably he did, though thirty 
years before it had with other lands thereabouts been purchased by Cap- 
tain De Vries, and, after being occupied a short time, abandoned. Dowe 
Harmanse subsequently bought a farm eighty chains long and fifty 
chains wide, adjoining Jansen's on the north side, also on the river front. 

In 1684-5 an association headed by Governor Dongan made large 
purchases of land in Orange and Ulster counties, part of it now being in 



68 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

the territory of Rockland. The combined tract embraced all the river 
front from the patented lands of Ilaverstraw north to Danskamnier 
point, and extended twenty miles into the interior, or to the Sliawangunk 
mountains. The southerly boundary extended in a northwest direction 
from the Iliidson into the interior, and for that reason it is famovis in lo- 
cal land titles as the Northwest Line. But not only had the Indians 
previously sold to Van Courtlandt a portion of the lands which by this 
sale they conveyed to Dongan's association, but they had also sold to 
Patrick MacGregorie, David Toshuck, William Sutherland, William 
Chambers and twenty-five others, principally Scotch Presbyterians, a 
section of foiu- thousand acres, lying on both sides of Murderer's creek, 
and these newcomers, being bona fide settlers, had actually taken pos- 
session and erected cabins before the sale to Dongan was made. Mac- 
Gregorie's own cabin was on Plum Point. Van Coiu-tlaudt was able 
to prove his title to that portion of his manor then lying opposite An- 
thony's Xose, but the settlers at Murderer's creek fared poorly at the 
hands of the land jobbers. After they had been in possession for about 
ten years, one Captain John Evans, commander of H. M. S. Richmond, 
stationed in American waters, appeared and claimed all the territory that 
Dongan had bought from the Indians, including the tract covered by this 
settlement. In the interim MacGregorie had been killed while in the 
ser\'ice of his king, his brother-in-law, David Toshuck, had died at the 
settlement, and Dongan had been retired from the go^-ernorsliip of the 
province. To the other settlers Evans exhibited a grant for the domain 
originally made to Dongan and by him transferred to the present owner, 
and the transfer confirmed by the then Governor, Benjamin Fletchev, in 
consideration of five hundred pounds. Evans presinned to call the vast 
estate the "Manor of Fletcherdon." Naturally, he had the Governor's 
siipport in his claims, and the settlers had no better alternative than to 
take leases, which they did, but not without protest. 

George Lockhart was alloted 2,000 acres, under a patent dated Feb. 
20, 1685. The tract had a frontage on the river, and was on the south 
side of "Tappan's Sloat." 

The next large grant of land in this region was for a settlement ad- 
joining tlic Christian Patented Lands of Haverstraw, for a company of 
immigrants from Holland, among whom were descendants or relatives 
of the former patroon. Captain David De Vries. Being in numbers suf- 



APPORTIONING THE LANDS. 69 

ficient to demand it, they were granted a township patent, under the 
name of the Town of Orange, ^vith all the powers ''practiced or belong- 
ing into any town within this government." The patent was gTanted 
March 20, 1686, the Indians having been previously satisfied for the 
land. The proprietoi-s mentioned in the document were Cornelia Claes- 
sen Kuyper, Daniel de Klercke, Peter Harnich, Gerritt Steuments, John 
de Vries, Sr., John de Vries, Jr., Claes Mannde, John Stratemaker, 
Staaes De Groat, Arean Lamnieates, Lamont Ariannus, Huybert Ger- 
ryts, Johannes Gerrits, Eide Van Vorst and Cornelius Lammerts. The 
boundaries of the town were defined as "beginning at the mouth of Tap- 
pan creek, where it falls into the meadow, and running thence along the 
north side of said creek to a creeple bush, and falls into Hackinsack riv- 
ei-, northerly to a place called the green bush, and thence along said 
green bush easterly to the lands of Claes Janse and Dowe Harmanse, and 
from thence southerly along said land upon the top of the hills to the 
aforementioned mouth of Tappan creek where it falls into the meadow 
aforesaid." It will be observed that this settlement began with a town- 
ship organization, and with a form of local civil government, the first in 
the county. To what extent, if at all, the patented lands of Haverstraw 
were occupied when the town of Orange came into existence is a matter 
of conjecture, but the latter was by far the more considerable settlement. 
The land was apportioned fairly among the families, the custom of the 
country being to make an allowance for each meml)er of the family. 
There was no hamlet or village at first, as each family resided apart, on 
its own farm, and whenever a meeting of the inliabitants was desirable 
or necessary it was held at one of the homes. The weekly prayer-meet- 
ing was the earliest form of worship, and after a time there was occa- 
sional preaching. In those early days the religious society was the very 
center of life for the community; from it radiated the cords that bound 
men's hearts together; thither they came homesick and despondent and 
found strength, lo\e and joy ; it was their comfort in the wilderness, their 
fortress and salvation ; witho\it the support which it afforded, how could 
the pioneer settlers have suiwived? 

Peace and prosperity blessed the towoi, and the growth of the com- 
munity in KiO-i (Oct. 24) wan-anted the organization of a church, which 
was of tlie Refonncd Protestant Dutch faith, and the first preacher was 
the Rev. Guilliam Bertholf, who divided his time and services among 



70 HISTORY OP ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

several commiuiities. He was the pioneer minister in New Jersey, and 
all the Dutxjh people on the west side of the river soiitli of Murderer's 
creek, as well as those of Tarrytown and Staten Island, were in his spir- 
itual charge. Hackensack, Bergen, Raritan and Acquakanonck also re- 
ceived the ministrations of this good and devoted man. Fifty-five acres 
were set off for a glebe, the rentals from which would go toward the sup- 
port of a minister and schoolmaster. Naturally, a hamlet grew up on 
the glebe, and here the first church edifice was erected in 1716, and the 
first school established; the tavern, cemetery, post office, court house 
and jail followed in due time. The name of Tappan was bestowed upon 
the liamlet, and the township as a whole became knouTi as ''Orangetown." 
Since the first purchase of land in this region by De Harte, the prov- 
ince of New York had been recaptured by the Dutch (1G73), and re- 
turned again to the British by the treaty of Westminster (1674). At 
the time of the founding of Orangetown the population of the whole 
province was about eighteen thousand, and Thomas Dongan was His 
Majesty's Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief. The population 
reached as far north as Albany, and Schenectady was the remotest set- 
tlement on the Mohawk. Long Island and lower Westcliester and Man- 
hattan were the districts most thicklv inhabited. Dongan brought over 
with him from London instructions to summon a general assembly, to 
consist of not more than eighteen persons, to be chosen by all the free- 
holders. This assembly was to "have full liberty to consult and debate 
for all laws," but its statutes were subject to veto by the Duke of York. 
The Governor was also authorized to establish courts on the British plan. 
The Assembly met in Fort James, Oct. 17, 1683. In the course of the 
session of three weeks fourteen acts were passed. The most important 
was the "Charter of Liberties," in which declaration was made that un- 
der the king and lord proprietor "the supreme legislative authority shall 
forever be and reside in a governor, council and the people met in gen- 
eral assembly." This was the fii-st time "the people" were recognized 
"in any constitution in America," according to the King. The charter 
also provided for freedom in religion, for liberty of choice in all elec- 
tions, and it embodied the principle of no taxation ^rithout representa- 
tion in these words: "A"o aid, tax, custom, loan, benevolence or impo- 
sition whatsoever shall be levied within this province upon any pretense 
but by the consent of the governor, council and representatives of the 
people in general assembly." 



APPORTIONING THE LANDS. 71 

Twelve counties were erected, namely : New York, "Westchester, Ul- 
ster, Dutchess, Orange, Albany, Ricliniond, Kings, Queens, Suffolk, all 
in the present State, and Dukes and Cornwall, which are outside. All 
but Orange and Ulster were thereafter to be entitled to representation 
in the Assembly. Orange county was placed under the care of New 
York county, and Dutchess under the care of Albany. Fom* kinds of 
courts were recognized: town courts, for the trial of small causes; coun- 
ty courts, a general court of oyer and terminer, and a court of chancery 
to be supreme court of the province, composed of the governor and coun- 
cil, with power in the governor to apjjoiiit a chancellor to act in his stead 
as the presiding officer in this court. 

The next land taken up in Rockland (Orange) county was the Quas- 
peeck section, the Indian name for Hook Mountain and the neighbor- 
ing country, including Rockland Lake, lliere was a strife for this prop- 
erty, which consisted of 5,000 acres, and two associations claimed it and 
showed deeds. Jarvis Marshall & Company (including William 
Wealch) secured the grant in 1694. A vast tract of country immediate- 
ly west of the town of Orange and the Haverstraw patents was conveyed 
by deed and patent in 1696 to Daniel llonan and Michael Ilawdon. 
This was called the Kakiat patent, and was the largest conveyance thus 
far made in the county of Rockland. There was a law to the effect that 
not more than two thousand acres should be granted to any one 
person, but the provision was evaded by forming associations and other- 
wise. In 1708 the great Wawayanda patent was issued for 160,000 
acres of the interior of Orange county, extending from the Ulster coim- 
ty line to New Jersey. A large tract called the Cheesecook lands, lying 
between the Kakiat and Evans patents and west of the Christian Pat- 
ented Lands of Haverstraw, was granted, for an annual rental of twenty 
shillings, to an association, some or all of the members of which were in- 
terested in the Wawayanda patent also. The boundary lines of the 
Evans, Wawayanda and Cheesecook patents were for years in dispute, 
and it was a cause of irritation among the settlers that such large grants 
sliould be made in defiance of the intent of the law. Complaint was 
made to the Government at London, and in 1699 the Assembly took up 
the matter, annulled the Evans patent altogether, and curtailed and re- 
adjusted some other large grants. The Evans tract was afterward 
given out in small parcels; but even when the greatest care was exer- 
cised the government was sometimes imposed upon. Of the original 



72 HISTORY OF ROCKL,AND COUNTY. 

Dongan-Evans tract Richard Bradley and members of his family secured 
several thousand acres now contained within the bounds of Stony Point 
township. 

The beginning of the eigliteenth cantury found practically all the 
land in the territory of the present Rockland county appropriated, and 
the system of government ^\'as being gradually perfected. In 1G91 the 
judiciary had lieen modified so as to permit of a justice of the peace in 
every town and a coiu't of common pleas for e^'ery county. But this did 
t'ot apply to Orange (Rockland) county, which for the first twenty years 
after its erection was a county only in name. Orange being imder the 
care of New York county, the same sheriff and other coimty ofHcers act- 
ed for both. This was on account of the smallness of the population. 
Governor Leislcr, to serve his own ends, during the coui-se of his remark- 
able rebellion, appointed a member of his council, William Lawrence, to 
represent Orange county in the Assembly of 1(391, but the county had 
no real right to representation. Also in 1700 we find Orange county 
with a representative in the Assembly in the person of Abram Gover- 
neur. Though he siibsequently was elected Speaker of the House, it is 
an open question if he was an honored representative, inasmuch as he 
had been convicted of murder — and pardoned. The people were per- 
mitted to choose an Assemblyman for themselves for the first time in 
1702, and their choice fell upon Peter Hearing — or Hearingh, accord- 
ing to the spelling of the time. It is learned from a letter of Lord Corn- 
bury written from his country seat at Haverstraw, to the Lords of Trade 
al London, that Theunis Talman, Esq., was High Sheriff of the County 
of Orange at this time, and that, like several other sheriff's, he signed his 
name \vith a mark. The ignorance of these officers was such that Lord 
Cornbury wrote that he would not be able to give an account of the 
number of inhabitants in the jirovince "till I have a new set of Sheriffs, 
which shall be in the middle of next month, at which time I will take 
care to appoint such persons as I have already put into the commissions 
of the peace — 'men' (according to the 12th paragraph of my instruc- 
tions) 'of good life and well affected to His Majesty's government, and 
of good estates and abilities, and not necessitous people or much in debt;' 
Ihen I shall be able to give such accounts as are required.'' 

The eninneration made under Lord Cornbury's direction in June, 
1702, puiporting to include all the inhabitants of Orange county, ac- 
counts for 2f5S persons. Of these 54 were males, sixteen years or over; 




n 



a) 

Eh 



< 
OS 

(a 
> 



W 

O 
02 



o 

< 

o 

3 
< 



Q 



APPORTIONING THE LANDS. 



73 



40 women, of wliom thirty-seven were wives and thre« widows; 57 boys 
under sixteen years; 84 girls or maids; 33 negroes, men, women tiiul 
cliildren, all slaves. Only five men were above sixty years; one of tliese 
was Justice of tlie Peace William Merritt; another Dirck Storm, the 
Clerk. One of the citizens had an Indian woman for a wife. The 
names of the men in this census roll are as follows: 



William Merritt, 
Abram Hearingh, 
Roloft' Van Howi;ten, 
John Hendrickssen, 
Geridt Hendrickssen, 
Geridt Lambertzen, 
Lowe Reynerssen, 
.Tohnn Classen, 
Johnnus Gerissen, 
Coenrat Hanssen, 
Dirck Straat, 
(Josyn Hearingh, 
Samuel Conklijn, 
John Waard, 
Pieter ]Iearingh, 
John D'puy, 
Gerritt Huijbrechtz, 
Pouhis Tjurekssen, 
Meichert Casperssen, 
John Perre, 
Isaac Brett, 
Will: Juell, Jr., 
Arian Crom, 
Floris Crom, 
Cornelius Coeper, 
Frans Wey, 
Cleas Van Howtton, 



Daniel Dc Klerck, 

Thomis Eoelllzen Van Howtten, 

Ilendrick Geritssen, 

Herman Hendrickssen, 

Lambert Arianssen, 

Thonis Taelman, 

Casper Janssen, 

Reyn Janzen, 

Jacob Cool, 

Reijnier Mijnerssen, 

Cornelius Hearingh, 

Jacob Flierboom, 

Abram Blauvelt, 

Isaac Gerrissen, 

Jeremiah CenilT, 

John D'fries, 

John Meijer, 

John Hey, 

Jurian Meigerissen, 

Jemes Weller, 

Will: Juell, 

Willem Crom, 

Gysbert Crom, 

Albert Mimelay, 

Edward Mek, 

Dirck Storm, 



Jacob De Klerck. 
The Justices of the Peace at the time when the census was taken 
were: William Men-itt, Daniel De Klerck, Theunis R. Van Ilowton 
and Cornelius Clasen. One of the four being unable to write his name, 
made his mark instead. Justice ifen-itt owned eight slaves, but he is 
not credited with anv children. Justice Van Howton possessed two 



74 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

slaves, and was blessed with six xmmarried daughters and three unmar- 
ried sons. Peter Hearingh had five "gerells," one boy, and one man- 
slave, in his household. Thonis Taelman kept two men-slaves. Al- 
bert Mhnelay had one male and two female slaves. In brief, slaves 
were owned in seventeen families. In regard to the total number of in- 
habitants of the county, there are reasons for doubting that the num- 
ber was correctly given. For instance, the names of none of the 
Scotch and Irish families composing the Miirderer's creek colony appears 
in the census report. This settlement lay partly in Orange and part- 
ly in Ulster coimty, and had existed without interruption since 1GS4, 
when Col. MacGregorie, his brother-in-law "and twenty-five others 
. . settled themselves, their families and sundry of their servants, 
on lands . . . and peaceably and quietly possessed and enjoyed 
themselves during the terms of their natural lives," as a paper signed 
by Mrs. Mac Gregorie bears witness. Moreover, the lady expressly 
states that her residence was "in the county of Orange." Here is clear 
proof that the alleged census did not account for all the inhabitants of 
the county. It is even doubtful if every person south of the Highlands 
was included. In 1693 it was officially reported that Orange county 
contained "no more than twenty families, free-holders, all living in 
Orangetown." This we know was an error. From the use of the word 
"freeholders," however, there is a possible inference that only proprietors 
were considered in the enumeration. 

The pioneers of Orangetown and Haverstraw had by tliis time be- 
come well settled in their ways of life. The children they had brought 
with them into the wilderness were well on to manhood and woman- 
hood; some had founded homes of their own. The schooling the boys 
and girls received was sturdy, though limited. It was an era when book- 
learning was not so needful for the fonner as physical streng-th for 
labor, wit for trade, and skill in woodcraft and farming; and for the 
girls expertness in household duties. Dutch customs prevailed; the 
Dutch element still led in business and government. According to the 
standard of the age, the people lived in comfort; the virgin soil yielded 
abundant croi>s; game and fish were plentifid in forest and stream; the 
necessaries of life were easily obtainable. The Indians for the most 
part had retired into the interior, and now gave the colonists little or no 
trouble. There were marryings and givings in marriage; there were 
christenings and betrothals; days of labor in the field, evenings of con- 



APPORTIONING THE LANDS. 75 

Acrsation, meditation and prayer about the fire-place; besides the Sab- 
bath walks to and from religious meetings, social gathering-s and wayside 
chats, hoiTsehold hopes anil sorrows; the incidents of daily life can easily 
be imagined. 

Already the county had produced one man of note — a prototype of 
George Clinton. Patrick MacGregorie had not long resided on Plum 
Point, in the Murderer's creek settlement, when the Governor called 
him to be the Muster-General of the Militia of the province. Before 
coming across the sea he had fought for his king in France. In Jime, 
1(586, when much irritation existed between the French in Canada and 
the authorities of New York, MacGregorie was commissioned to lead 
a trading party to the Ottawa country; overtake a party that had gone 
out the previous year, and bring both expeditions back to Albany. He 
was ordered not to distiu'b or meddle with the French. Below Fort St. 
Joseph, at "the Detroit of Lake Erie," MacGregorie and his party of 
twenty-nine Christians, six Indians and eight prisoners were seized as 
trespassers by a superior force of French troops, taken to Fort Niagara 
and sent thence to Montreal, not to be released until the Fall of the fol- 
lowing year, when there was an exchange of prisoners. In 1688 he ex- 
ecuted an important mission to Canada for Governor Andros of ]\Ias- 
sachusetts. Though not a resident of Massachusetts, he was selected for 
this duty because of his special fitness. In 1689, ^vith the rank of Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel, he was on duty in Maine and subse(]uently at Boston 
during the "secession" agitation, with Captain George Lockhart and 
Major Brockholls, all New York officers. In March, 1691, Colonel IMao 
Gregorie was ordered to proceed with his regiment to New York city, 
"to assist in maintaining the King's government" against Gov. Leisler, 
who was in rebellion. On the 17th of the month T^eisler with his own 
hand fired one of the guns of the fort at the King's troops, as they stood 
on parade. This was followed by a furious cannonade and volleys of 
musketry. The fire from the fort was answered from without, and in 
firing one of the cannon six persons were killed. One was Col. ^fno 
Gregorie. His widow continued to reside on Plum Point, whicli with 
a considerable estate was confirmed to her by the government. 



References: Holland Documents. Colonial Documents. Ruttenber's 

Orang'e County. Schuyler's Colonial New York. "The Eng-lish in New York," 

by .7. A. Stevens. B. Tnckerman's "Peter Stuyvesant." Roberts' New York. 

Lewis Beach's Cornwall. Brodhead's New York . Cole's Rockland County. \ 



76 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 



CHAPTEK VII. 

COLONIAL GOVERNMLNT. 
Courts and Coiirt-Houses — Precincts Kstablislied — Names of Officers and 
Represent^^tdves — First Boatls — C'oloniail Prices — Religfiious Influences — Fla.mily 
Customs — General and Local Laws — Public Improvements — French and Indian 
War — Militia System. 

TT TlTH the year 1703 a new era of government began for the coun- 
Vy ty. Although erected in 1683, not until 1703 was Orange 
permitted to exercise all the rights and privileges granted to 
other coimties. The first meeting of the Court of Sessions and Pleas 
was held at Tappan (Orangetown) on April 28, 1703, Judge William 
Mcrritt and Judge John Merritt sitting. These judges had been ap- 
pointed by Governor Combury. The first recorded meeting of the 
Board of Supervisors was held April 27, of the same year; — present, 
"William Merritt, John Merritt, C^ornelius Cooper, Theunis Van IIow- 
ton, Thomas Bun-oughs, Michael Hawdon, justices; John Perry, Sher- 
ifp; William Iluddleston, clerk; Conradt Hanssen, constable. In June 
(1703) a general law was enacted that there should be "elected and 
chosen once every year, in each town, by the freeholders and inhabitants 
thereof, one of their freeholders and inhabitants to compute, ascertain, 
examine, oversee and allow the contingent, public and necessary charge 
of each county, and that each and every inhabitant, being a freeholder 
in any manor, liberty, jurisdiction, precinct and out-plantation, shall 
have liberty to join his or their vote with the next adjacent town in 
the county, where such inhabitants shall dwell, for the choice of a sup- 
ervisor." The same enactment also provided that there should be annu- 
ally chosen "in each town, ward, manor and precinct, by the freeholders 
and inhabitants thereof, two assessors and one collector." The elections 
were called for the first Tuesday in April, "or on such other days as were 
appointed by charters and patents." Tlie annual meetiiig of the Board 
of Supervisors was appointed for the first Tuesday in October. A coun- 
ty treasurer was to be chosen by the Supervisors. 

Soon after the organization of the town of Orange the inhabitants 
of the adjoining patents, inchuling Ilaverstraw, were attached to it, 
and this connection was not broken until 1719, when Ilaverstraw was 
made a separate precinct, with boundai'ies described as "from tlie north- 



COLONIAL GOVERNMENT. 77 

crmost bounds of Tappaii to the northermost boimds of Haverstraw." 
The Town of Orange continued to be the only organized township in the 
county until 1714, when Goshen was founded as a township; then the 
adjoining patents were legally attached to it, and the whole made and 
constituted the Precinct of Goshen. Tappan was the county-seat, and 
the county and general courts assembled there exclusively until 1727. 
The first count}' building was erected in 1703, being a court house and 
jail combined. When it became necessary to elect a member of As- 
sembly the polls were opened at Tappan only, and qualified electors in 
order to vote were required to go thither from all parts of the county. 
The Sheriff presided over the ballot box and declared the result. Only 
freeholders could vote for an Assemblyman, and it was not required that 
they should be actual residents. A freeholder could vote in any and 
every county where he had property — ''lands or tenements improved to 
the value of forty pounds" — free from all incumbrances. The polls 
were kept open several days, to enable all who desired to appear and vote. 
The non-resident property-owners could also vote with the inhabitants for 
towm officers. 

Beginning in 1727, courts were held alternately at Goshen and Tap- 
pan as a matter of convenience, but the polls for the election of the Mem- 
ber of Assembly continued to be at Tappan only until 1749, when 
they were opened at Goshen also, and for not less than four, nor for more 
than six days, at each place. The court house in Orangetowni was re- 
built, at an expense of £300, in 1737, when the population of the coun- 
ty had increased to about three thousand, and at the same time a court- 
house and jail for the convenience of the inhabitants north of the High- 
land M'as erected at Goshen. The county records remained in Orange- 
town, and there the principal official business of the county was trans- 
acted. The precinct of Goshen included all the territory of the coim- 
ty not attached to Orangetown and Haverstraw; in other words, the ter- 
ritory north and west of the mountains, from the Hudson riwr to the 
Delaware. But the precincts of Goshen and Orangetown should not 
be confounded with the towms themselves. The Cornwall, Warwick 
and Greycourt neighborhoods, for example, while in the precinct of Go- 
shen, yet formed no part, of Goshen town. The jurisdiction of the pre- 
cincts of Orangetown and Haverstraw corresponded very nearly to the 
territory of the present Eockland county. 



78 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

In the Colonial Assembly the county was represented by one mem- 
ber until 1726; thereafter by two. Among the early Assemblymen 
were Peter Haring, Koris Crom, Cornelius Haring, Henrtrich TenEyck. 
Cornelius Cooper, Lancaster Symes, Vincent Matthews, Abram Haring, 
Theodorus Snedeker, Gabriel Ludlow, Thomas Gale, Henry Wisner, Se- 
lali Strong, John DelN'oyelles, John Coe. Among the county judges 
following the Merritts, were John Corbett (1710), Peter Haring and 
Cornelius Haring (1717), Vincent Matthews of Goshen, James Jack- 
son of Goshen, Abram Haring and John Haring. The Haring family 
was exceptionally prominent in public life in colonial times. Among 
the County (^Icrks who followed Stonu and Huddleston were Gerardus 
Cluwes (1721), Thomas Pullen (1723), Vincent Matthews of Cornwall 
(1726), Gabriel Ludlow (1735), Vincent Matthews (1736), David Mat- 
thews (1763). Among the Sheriffs were Floris W. Crom (1690), Stan- 
ley Handcock of New York (1694), John Peterson (1699), Thcunis 
Van Howton (1702), John PeiTy (1703), Jeremiah Caniff (1706), Cor- 
nelius Cooper (1708), Cornelius Haring (1709), Timothy Halstead 
(1718), William Pullen (1730), Michael Dunning of Goshen (1737), 
Thadeus Snedeker (1739), Joshua Sackett of Cornwall (1747), John 
Lawrence of Cornwall (1756), Daniel Everett of Goshen (1758), Dan- 
iel Denton of Goshen (1761), Isaac WoodhuU of Cornwall (1764), Je^se 
Woodhiill of Cornwall (1772). Among the early Supervisors of Or- 
angetowii were Renear Kisaike (1722), Cornelius Haring (1723-8), Cor- 
nelius Smith (1729-31), B,arent Naugell (1732-3), Gabriel Ludlow 
(1734-8), Henry Ludlow (1740-6), John Ferdon (1747), Adolph Len*-. 
(1748-57), David Blauvelt (1758-9), Daniel Haring (1760-3). 

When the mind runs back to the first half of the eighteenth century 
in Rockland (Orang^e) county the people are found in the enjoyment of 
an existence which in spite of c^ertain -sdci&situdes and even some depriva- 
tions must have approached very nearly the acme of earthly happiness 
for the average man. When all the circumstances by which their lives, 
their desires and their affairs were limited and shaped are considered, 
and when a proper estimate is made of the large measiire of elements 
essential to contentment that was accorded to them, it will be perceived 
that after the rough edges of a new country had been smoothed away, 
when the paths and lanes to neighbors' homes, to the Glebe and to the 
riverside had become a bit worn, when the barns biilg-ed with the har- 
vests, and cattle grazed on a hundred hills, when fine white curtains hung 



COLONIAL, GOVERNMENT. 79 

in tlic windows, and there was plenty to eat and to wear, colonial life was 
on the whole very satisfactory. What is called in modern times "the strug- 
gle for existence" was tlien almost unknown; the cruelties of competi- 
tion had all been left behind in the old world. Xot only were the neces- 
saries of life easily obtained, but wealth came to every home by natural 
increase. "Built before the Revolution" is the legend on a number of 
fine mansions that have survived to testify of the prosperity of the period. 
Even the illiteracy of the fathers, which was more apparent than 
real, was but anotlier sign of the easy-going life. Men must be judged 
by the age in which they live.- The colonial folk of the first and second 
generations not only had every material comfort, but also peace of mind ; 
they had an independence of which no man could deprive them; they 
had an assured future for themselves and a good heritage for their chil- 
dren. Order, dignity, refinement and Christian fellowship ornamented 
their daily life. Their estates embi'aced the most beautiful countiy 
conceivcai)le, with geographic and climatic situation unsuqiassed, and 
their descendants have been content to live in the same place these many 
generations since. 

The wealth which nature bestowed comprised horses, cattle, sheep, 
fowl, lumber, grain, hay, wool, furs, hides, pork, bacon, lard, beef. Some 
of the products could be exchanged for siigar, molasses, tea, coffee, and 
general supplies at the store, and some could be converted into money 
on shipment to New York. At Tappan Slote was the boat landing, but 
if one preferred riding, there was the King's highway, — and Paulus 
Jlook was only thirty miles away. This highway had developed in the 
natural course of events from an Indian trail to a settlers' path, and at 
length to a passable road for horsemen. It connected the various set- 
tlements along the west side of the river. It may be assumed that the 
route of the old highway was virtually "engineered" by the red men, 
perhaps centuries before the Europeans came. From Tappan it pro- 
ceeds to Haverstraw, passes on to Stony Point, winds through Doodle- 
toAvn to Fort Montgomery and West Point, climbs over Cro'nest and 
Storm Xing — to Cornwall, Moodna, Plum Point, the "Parish by Quae- 
saick" (Newburgh), and so on to Esopus, Catskill and Albany. As the 
back country grew up, the Ramapo Clove road, another natural higb- 
Avay, became uiore and more traveled. This was the way to Goshen. 
Three highway commissioners for each town were provided for by a gen- 
eral law enacted in 1091. The Commissioners in 1730 were: For 



80 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Tappan — T\oynicr Keyserryck and Rocloff Van Honten; for Haver- 
straw — Cornelius Kuyper and Jonathan Kosc. Every male inhabitant, 
inchiding freeholders not actually residing in the county, was required to 
work five days in each year on the roads or furnish a man. 

Ilavcrstraw and Xyack as well as Tappan had their early landing 
places for sloops, to which roads led. The river shore at Haverstraw was 
particularly beautiful in colonial times. 

An idea of the economic conditions prevailing before the Revolu- 
tion can be obtained from the price-lists for land, farm products, store 
goods and labor. Land values were of course very low. The Indians, 
as has been observed, released their real estate for very slight considera- 
tions. In 1755 Aure Smith sold his large farm, lying between South 
Nyack and Sparkill creek, and fronting on the river-shore, to Gerrett 
Ondcrdonk for £350, including buildings. In 1716 Cornelius Cooper 
sold 330 acres of good land for £34, 15s. In 1753 Peter Gresler sold 
225 acres (at Valley Cottage) for 45s. an acre. The capital required by 
a pioneer when he had secured his land was small. A yoke of oxen was 
valued at $70; a cow at $15; indispensable farming tools, $20, and an 
ox-cart, $30. A log house containing four rooms could be built for 
about $200. Wheat was reckoned at three shillings a bushel. Four shil- 
lings was the price of a day's labor for a mechanic. Sixty dollars would 
buy a horse. Tailors charged six shillings for making a pair of breeches, 
eight shillings for making a coat. "For the use of a horse, three pence 
per mile for 153 miles." " For ride of my mare, 20 miles, six shillings, 
eight pence." Farm hands were paid eight to eleven dollars per month 
when they could be obtained. The rate paid for help in the haying sea- 
son was fifty cents per day. At the saw mills ordinary timber was worth 
$3.50 per thousand. 

The best economy advised home manufacturing to every possible 
extent. The farmer himself made everything he needed as far as he 
could, and called on his neighbors to help him in emergencies. Where 
he left off the blacksmith and wagon-maker, the saw mill and grist mill 
took hold. Each coniinunity necessarily was in a large degree self-sup- 
porting. A blacksmith not only made shoes for horses, and iron for 
wagons, but to him the farmers went for their forks and rakes also. 
Ever}' farmer's \nfe saw that yarn was provided for stockings and mit- 
tens, as well as flannel for imderwear. Some homes had looms for weav- 
ing a coarse cloth. This huge machine was kept in a room apart, or 



COLONIAL GOVERNMENT. 81 

under the sloping roof of the "bock stocp," Cliildren Avere set at work 
as soon as they were able to spin and card. Itinerant weavers were often 
hired to operate the loom. In later years mills to card the wool into 
rolls, and also to color, fnll and dress the cloth, were common through- 
out the country. 

The slaves were decently treated and did not feel their bondage. 
Anything else than kind treatment was impossible from their God-fear- 
ing masters. Indians were occasional visitors. Once a year the tribes 
were permitted to visit Manhattan. People came long distances to the 
Dutch Reformed Church at Tappantown. The first edifice was erected 
during the ministration of the Eev. ]Mr. Bertholf. It was constructed of 
stone. When the first settled pastor, the Rev. Frederic Muzelius, came, 
in 1724, services were held each Lord's day, morning and afternoon. 
The slaves sat in the gallery, and the minister usually had some words 
for their particular benefit. Religious exercises and observances, and 
church affairs in general, filled a large part of life. The privilege of 
hearing the gospel expounded was a priAalege indeed. Sabbath observ- 
ance was strict, the whole time being spent as the catechism commanded. 
The day was not ended until the catechism had been recited in whole or 
part in the family circle, portions of Scripture read, and the blessing of 
the Heavenly Father asked on bended knee. 

Apart from religious exercises, the Dutch had many pretty customs. 
The birth of a child was announced to the neighborhood by hanging an 
elaborately trimmed pin cushion on the knocker of the front door, a blue 
cushion to signify a boy, a white one for a girl. The cushion may have 
been brought from the Dutchland, or made by the grandma or auntie; 
at any rate, the practice was to hand it down from one generation to 
another, it being as handsome as taste and skill could devise. A cushion 
having many names and dates embroidered upon it constituted a sort of 
ianiily record. At the same time, the head of the house saw that the 
record in the family Bible was complete. Each birth was celebrated in 
due season by a caudle party. Elaborate preparations were made for the 
feast. Cookies, "aclilerlingen," krullers and "olykoecks" were made in 
great number, biit the particular dainty of the occasion was the "caudle," 
the component elements of which were a secret in every family. A 
recipe that has been handed down in one family specifies three gallons 
of water, seven pounds of sugar, oatmeal, spice, rasins, lemons by the 
quart, and two gallons of the best Madeira wine. This seductive and 



82 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

sometimes bcAnlderlng mixtiirc was served in a large bowl, around which 
were hung quaint little spoons, so that each person could ladle out enough 
for his china cup to hold, and at the same time fish out a plump raisin 
or a bit of citron. The bowl and spoons were kept as souvenirs. 

Any festivity, business or ceremony calling for a meeting of the 
neighbors was always well responded to either from a sense of duty or 
for pleasiire. Such gatherings afforded almost the only relief from the 
general monotony of existence in a new country. Besides, the ties of 
friendship were strong, and every household religiously respected the 
obligations which it owed to others in a secluded community. The cir- 
cumstances attending a death among the colonists were particularly sad. 
The loss of one who had left the old land and come across the sea \\dth 
them, and had shared their life on the frontier of civilization, was a deep 
affliction to old friends. From necessity or preference, the dead were 
buried not in a one central cemetery, but each bereaved household had 
a sacred enclosure on its own farm, though now obliterated and forgot- 
ten. The absence of facilities for properly marking graves was one of 
the misfortunes of most communities in colonial times. In the second 
generation, when the church had been erected at Tappan, the church- 
yard came into use as a bur^'ing-ground. In the absence of other means 
of notification, it was the duty of the precentor of the congregation to 
convey invitations to a funeral. The service for the dead, with the other 
attendant ceremonies, was a protracted and exceedingly solemn function. 
A black clotli with hea\^' tassels called a "dood kleed" was thrown over 
the coffln. This pall belonged to the church. The pall-bearers literally 
carried the cofiin from the house to the grave when the distance was not 
too great. Each bearer was distinguished by a small white cushion on 
one shoulder, held in place by bands passing across the back and breast, 
and fastened under the opposite ann. After the interment, the proces- 
sion returned to the house, where pipes and tobacco were distributed 
among the men. 

Marriages were merry festivals. The groom was required to take 
out a license, and for many years it was possible to obtain one no nearer 
than New York city or Esopus. The bride wore as many petticoats as 
she could carry, as they were a part of her dower and a sign of prosperity. 
A maiden bride wore a peculiarly shaped cro\vn of embroidered silk over 
a pasteboard or metal form. The attendants of the bride were usually 



COLONIAL, GOVERNMENT. 83 

matrons. There is a tradition that the first yoiing man to be married in 
Eockland county was Floris Crom. 

Until about 1750 the church at Tappan was the only one south of 
the Highlands. Then two congregations were organized within the 
bounds of the present town of Ramapo, one called the "English Pres- 
byterian Church," of New Hempstead, and the other was the Dutch 
Iteformed Church, long known as the "Brick Church. It was a law of 
the pro\'ince that there sliould be no unnecessary traveling and no servile 
labor on the Lord's Day, nor any physical exercising, or any pastimes, 
sports, playing, fishing or shooting. It was not lawful to travel any- 
wliere except to a house of worship, or on an errand of mercy or neces- 
sity, such as for the purpose of fetching a physician or nurse. Even the 
journey to church coTild not exceed twenty miles. For an Indian not 
professing the Christian religion there was no exemption at all; he must 
not be found traveling abroad on the holy day. Violators of this law, 
if freeholders, were an-ested and fined six shillings, or put in the stocks. 
Servants, slaves and Indians, who could not pay the fine, were publicly 
whipped, thirteen being the legal number of lashes. The stocks and 
whipping-post at Tappan were long the terror of evil-doers. Vagabonds 
were whipped and hurried out of the county. 

The early settlers were woiTied not a littlp by the prowling of wikl 
beasts, such as wolves and panthers, and the colonial statute books con- 
tain numerous enactments relating to bounties for their extermination. 
The evening lullaby of the cliildren was the howling of the wolves in tlie 
mountains, and at night time all domestic animals had to be under cover. 
At the same time there was a law against hunting deer with bloodhounds 
or beagles, and when such dogs were found off their owners' premises, 
they were to be killed. 

Tlie poor were not neglected, though we fancy few ever felt the 
pinch of poverty. The trustees of each town were constituted overseers 
of the poor, and were required to annually set apart a competent sum for 
relieving distress. In the absence of trustees, towns were required to 
elect overseers. A law passed by the General Assembly Xovcmber 24, 
1750, empowered the judges, justices and the clerk of the court of com- 
mon pleas in this county to take the probate of wills and grant letters of 
administration. Until then such business for this county was transacted 
in New York. 



84 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

An importaiit highway cntcrjirise was undertaken in 1760, when 
William Ilawxlmrst and others interested with him in the Sterling Iron 
Works and Mines, together with persons inhabiting and holding lands 
in the county, petitioned the General Assembly for a road to be built 
from the iron works across the coimty to the landing at Haverstraw. 
l"he Assembly concurred in the opinion that siich a highwa}^ was not 
only necessary in order to enable the persons interested in that useful 
manufactory to carry on the same to perfection, bi;t it would also tend 
to open a short communication to the river, to the great ease of all those 
whose habitations were seated behind the highlands, and to the manifest 
improvement of that part of the colony. It was therefore enacted by 
the Lieutenant-Governor, the Council and ihe General Assembly that 
it would be lawful for Henry Wisner, Esq., Charles Clinton, Esq., and 
William Hawxhurst, or any two of them, — and they were empowered 
and authorized as Commissioners, at the expense of the petitioners and 
of such other persons as would voluntarily contribute, — to lay out, clear, 
open, make and complete a public road or highway not exceeding three 
rods in breadth, and on the shortest course, that conveniently could be 
from the iron works, through the Highlands to the most convenient land- 
ing place at Haverstraw on the river. The interests of Haverstraw and 
of a large section of the county were greatly advanced by the construc- 
tion of this thoroughfare. Charles Clinton, who was the engineer and 
surveyor in charge, was the head of the family of that name Avhich 
became prominent in national aimals. His home was in Little Britain, 
six miles soiithwest of Newburgh. Little Britain was and still is a dis- 
trict with indefinite boundaries. The Clinton home was a plain farm- 
house, situated on a cross-road, midway between the main Little Britain 
turnpike and the village of Washingtonville. To that place he came in 
the Spring of 1731, when forty years of age, at the head of a company 
of immigrants, who had sailed the preAaous year from Ireland, and tar- 
ried for a while at Cape Cod. Being a man of scholarly accomplish- 
ments, a good surveyor, and having a knowledge of legal forms, his ser- 
vices were soon in demand throughout the surrounding country. The 
first surveyor of importance in the history of Orange and Ulster counties, 
he was the original surveyor of a great many lots and patents in this sec- 
tion. He was prominent both in political aifairs and in the militia. At 
Little Britain he raised and educated his two sons, James and George, 
both of whom became generals. One commanded a division of the 




FORT PUTNAM. 



COLONIAL, GOVERNMENT. 85 

American troops at Yorktown and received the colors of Cornwallis; 
the other became the first Governor of the State and a Vice President 
of the United States. All three — ^the father and the two sons — foua-ht 
in Bradstrcct's expedition of 1758 against Fort Frontenac. The boys, 
at the head of a small company, distinguished themselves by capturing 
a French sloop-of-war on Lake Ontario. 

The freeholders, having become dissatisfied with the method of levy- 
ing taxes, a law was passed by the Assembly, in 1764, for a more equal 
taxation in the county of Orange. Each town was authorized to elect 
an assessor, who should be a member of a board of county assessors. 
These assessors were required to meet annually on the second Tuesday 
of April, and proceed to perform their duties in the following prescribed 
manner. "They shall proceed all together from house to house through- 
out the said county, till they have gone through the whole, and shall 
make out a true and exact list of names of freeholders and inhabitants 
of the said county; and against the name of each person they shall set 
down the value of his or her estate, according to the value of the improve- 
ments thereon, and of personal as nigh as they can discover the same to 
be within the county, setting down for every hundred pounds real value 
stated as aforesaid, four pounds, and in that proportion for a greater or 
less sum." 

A new precinct was added to the county by act of the Assembly, 
Oct. 20, 1764, when the Precinct of Goshen was divided by "a straight 
line, beginning at the borders or verge of the coimty of Ulster, near 
the new dwelling of John ]\rauno, thence on a course which will leave 
the house of Barnabas Ilorton, Jr., ten chains to the westward, to the 
most extreme parts of said precinct; all the lands lying to the west of 
said line to be Goshen Precinct, and all eastward to be called Xew Corn- 
wall Precinct." 

What was probably the first "fire department" in the county was 
established in 1776, when the inhabitants at their annual meetings were 
authorized by the Assembly to elect as many men as should be deemed 
needful, to be known as Firemen, who were empowered "on view or 
information of any fire happening in the woods, ^vithin their districts, 
to require and command every able man to aid and assist in putting out 
tlie same. If anyone refused to obey, he was to be fined three shillings, 
one half nf whicli sum was to go to the firemen. 



86 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

In 1769 the long-contested boundary line between the patented lands 
commonly called Cheesecocks and Kakiat was settled by act of the 
Assembly designating the exact boundary. 

Previous to 1770, the meetings of the Board of Supervisors of the 
County of Orange were held in the court house at Tappan. This place 
being found by experience to be inconvenient, on account of its situa- 
tion, an act was passed by the General Assembly (Dec. 30, 17C9) permit- 
ting the Supervisors to meet annually on the first Tiiesday of October at 
the house of Daniel Coe, at Kakiat, " and from thence adjoiu-n to any 
other place near the center of tlie county as shall seem most convenient." 

A law passed in 1770 specified that "whereas the ascertaining of the 
quotas or proportions of each respective precinct in the coimty of Orange 
towards the taxes has given occasion for disputes," it was enacted that 
''from henceforth the taxes, rates and contingent expenses shall be 
levied" in the following proportion. "If at any time the sum of £3,650 
be raised in the said county, Goshen shall contribute £1,250, Cornwall 
£620, Haverstraw £690, and Orangetown £800,— and £290 for the Pre- 
cinct of Minisink." 

Taverns were reqiiired to keep two spare beds, one to be a feather 
bed, with proper sheeting and coverings, and good and sufiicient pro- 
vision for four persons; besides good stabling and provender for four 
horses. Another statute required that the wheels of a wagon should 
not be less that four feet eight inches apart, and every wagon bear the 
initial of its owner. 

Another important highway enterprise was begun in 1773, when 
John DeNoyelles, David Pye and Ann Hawkes Hay were appointed 
commissioners to lay out, open and improve a highway through the High- 
lands from Haverstraw to the Skunemunk clove road, and to the north 
bounds of Orange county, near Murderer's Creek. Previously the road 
over tlie mountains had been only a bridle path. Traveling was mainly 
an horseback, wagons being few and generally of rude construction, often 
with wheels cut from the end of a log. 

John DeNoyelles was also one of the three commissioners appointed 
by tlie Assembly of the Pro\nnce of Xew York, to act with commission- 
ers appointed in New Jersey, for the purpose of ascertaining and marking 
the boundary line between New York and New Jersey. The other New 
York commissioners were Samuel Gale and William Wickham. 



COLONIAL, GOVERNMENT. 87 

The Government instituted postal arrangements at an early period. 
The general letter office was at New York city, and from time to time 
mail was sent out by post riders throughout their majesties' colonies and 
plantations. For the post of every letter not exceeding one sheet, from 
New York to Boston, or Maryland, the rate was nine pence. For not 
exceeding eighty miles the postage was four pence. Alexander Ham- 
ilton was deputed in 1092 by the Governor to manage the general post 
office system throughout all their majesties' plantations. 

The first half of the eighteenth century was an era of peace and pros- 
perity for the county south of the mountains. Wealth gradually accu- 
mulated and the evidence thereof could be seen in many spacious if not 
pretentious dwellings. There were grist and saw mills with their great 
water-wheels at favorable locations; at Tappan Slote and Haverstraw 
landing were general stores — the Noah's arks of colonial commerce. 
Sloops made regular trips to New York in summer, and it was the cus- 
tom to lay in goods enough in the fall to last during the winter. Amid 
this material prosperity, however, had arisen some political discontent, 
growing out of a desire for "popular rights" which the an-ogant British 
governors were disposed to deny. Although the General Assembly 
faithfully represented the interests of the people at large, its members 
held office during the pleasure of the governor, and until he was pleased 
to dissolve the assembly, no new election could take place. Governor 
(Admiral) Clinton told the Assembly that it had no authority to sit but 
by the King's commission and instructions to him. Struggles over the 
revenue between governor and assembly wei"e constant features of the 
chronicles of New York. The liberty of the press, a principle long and 
zealously contended for, was finally secured. 

Trouble was brewing with the French and Indians. French emis- 
saries were artfully at work among the red men, instigating depreda- 
tions on the northern and western frontier, where sig-ns were frequent 
that the allies were watching for opportunity of successful attack. See- 
ing that the difficulties with France would cvdminate in a great war, 
Benjamin Franklin of Philadelphia proposed a plan of union for all 
the colonies, and this was formally agreed to on July 4, 1754, in a con- 
vention at Albany. The dogs of war were unchained the following 
spring, four expeditions having been resolved upon: one to reduce Nova 
Scotia; one under Braddock to recover the valley of the Ohio; a third, 
commanded by Governor Shirley of Massachusetts, to drive the FrcMich 



«^ 



88 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

from Fort Niagara; and a fourth, under Major-General William John- 
son, to assail Crown Point. New York became tlie tlieatre of military 
movement and had to bear the brunt of the war. Volunteers from the 
militia of Orange and Ulster marched with the expedition across the St. 
Lawrence to Fort Frontenac, and to the defences of Lake Champlain. 
Tlie successful expedition against Fort Frontenac was commanded by 
Bradstreet, whose force was composed of eleven hundred and twelve New 
Yorkers, under Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Clinton of Little Britain 
and Lieutenant-Colonel Isaac Corse of Queens, with nineteen hundred 
and twenty-three other colonists, and forty-two Indians. 

The strain of this long conflict on the county of Orange was severe. 
Xot only was a slender population required to send forth men to the sev- 
eral expeditions against tlie French, but bodies of troops were fi'equently 
marched through the county, and the arbitrary system of quartering 
them on citizens was oppressive. Moreover, the Indian allies of the 
French turned their weapons against the frontier families, and can-ied 
the war into the heart of Orange county. The section west of the Wall- 
kill was for the most part "abandoned by the inhabitants," the records of 
the colony state, "who, for their safety, removed their families to the 
east side of the river, and became a charge on the charity of their neigh- 
bors." Others moved to distant parts. Those who remained or ven- 
tured beyond the Wallkill did so at the risk of their lives. Numerous 
butcheries were committed in spite of the militia that were constantly 
ranging the woods and the partial security offered by block houses and 
forts. Heroic riflemen, as well as women and children, were often shot 
down by the hidden foe. In June, 175S, a detatchment when going 
from Warwarsing to Minisink was ambushed, and suffered the loss of 
seven killed and three wounded, while a woman and four children were 
carried off. At Westfalls, on another occasion, seven soldiers were 
killed. Seventeen persons were massacred at a house where they had 
sought refuge. A woman taken prisoner at Minisink Avas killed and her 
body cut in halves. Two Goshen militiamen, Sutton and Rude, were 
killed at Minisink; Morgan Owen was killed and scalped within four 
miles of Goshen. While no atrocities were committed within the bounds 
of the present Rockland county, so far as kno\vn, the precincts of 
Orangetown and Haverstraw contributed their share of armed men 
to the common defence. Every man within the ages of sixteen and 
sixty, Tinless for good and sufllcient reason excused, was a member of the 



COLONIAL GOVERNMENT. 89 

militia, upon wliicli force drafts were made from time to time for men 
needed in the field. The war with the French ended in ITdO. but the 
depredations of the Indians continued for years after\vard. In 1703 
some parts of Orange and Ulster were ravaged; people were mercile.s.sly 
slain, and families, temfled, fled from their habitations. On the recom- 
mendation of Lt.-Governor Golden, the Assembly commissioned Colonel 
Tusten of Warwick to enlist a special company of two hundred men to 
protect the frontier. 

One result of the war, and of the rigid military system which Great 
Britain at all times enforced throughout her American colonies, was the 
training up of military leaders for the great struggle for national inde- 
pendence. Every man was a soldier. Under the law, boys upon arriv- 
ing at the age of sixteen, were required to enlist with the captain of the 
troop or company of their district, under penalty of a fine of three shil- 
lings for every month they remained out. Twice each year the com- 
panies constituting a regiment or battalion were mobilized and exercised. 
In 1773 Orange county had two regiments, three battalions, twenty- 
three companies. The meeting place for the semi-annual general train- 
ing south of the mountains was agreed on in advance by the oflficers. 
Cavalrymen were required to furnish their own horses, and every soldier 
was expected to keep at his home in readiness one pound of powder and 
three of bullets. No miisket was to be discharged after eight o'clock at 
night, except in case of alarm ; then four shots and the beating of a diinn 
would call every militiaman to his colors. 



References: Colonial Documents. Oolden Papers. Euttenber's Oranpfe 
Connty. Colonial Laws. Cole's Rockland County. Halsey's Old New York 
Frontier. Greeu'is R/ockland Coiinity. American .Vrcliiives. "The Goede \'rou\v 
of Ma.niliattan," by Mrs. .1. K. V'an Rienissellaer. Roberts' New York. 



90 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE ARENA OF STRIFE. 
The Orangietown Resolutions — ^Portifjing- the Hig-hlands — The Militia — 
Companies Raised for the Conitinental Line — Sons of Orange in the Invasion 
of Canada — The Shore Guard — Oflicers of Conijxinies — Soutliern Orange Bears 
the Brunt — The First Alarm — "Battle of Haverstraw" — A Naval Fight — Duty 
Calls — Activities of the Tories. 

THE interval between the fall of Montreal and the Battle of Lexing- 
ton was less than fifteen years, which was but a short time for rest 
and recuperation after five years of warfare. The political strain 
meanwhile had destroyed all peace of mind. The successive acts of 
oppression on the part, of the mother country were the subjects of con- 
.sideration and protest in Orangetown and Ilaverstraw, as elsewhere, 
wherever men met together. The sturdy, conscientious fathers spoke 
not rashly. Their sense of duty as loyal citizens was put in the scale of 
their judgment to weigh against their indignation at the continued injus- 
tice of the ruling power. At length public setitiment was crystallized 
and formally recorded in the famous "Orangetown Resolutions" of July 
4, 1774. This action, which preceded the Mecklemburgh declaration 
of independence by nearly a year, was taken at a meeting of citizens at 
Mabie's taverv in Tappan, and it made a profound impression throughout 
the colonies. The opening declarations, that they were and ever wished 
to be true and loyal subjects of His Majesty, and that they were most 
cordially disposed to support His Majesty and defend his cro\vm and 
ilignity in every constitutional measure, is proof that the people of 
Orangetown acted Avith due deliberation and had proper respect for con- 
si itntcd rights. Biit however well disposed towards His ^Majesty, they 
could not view late acts of Parliament without declaring their "abhor- 
rence of measures so unconstitutional and big with destruction." Consid- 
ering themselves in duty bound to iise every just and lawful measure 
to obtain a repeal of acts so destructive, it was their "unanimous opinion 
that the stopping of all exportation and importation to and from Great 
P)ritaiu and the West Indies would be the most effectual methods to 
obtain a speedy repeal." Colonel Abraham Lent, John Haring, Thomas 
Cutwater, Gardner Jones and Peter T. Haring were appointed a com- 
mittee to correspond with the city of New York, and to conclude and 



THE ARENA OF STRIFE. 91 

agree upon svxcli measures as they should judge necessary in order to 
obtain a repeal of the acts of Parliament complained of. 

The desire for liberty strengthened under continued oppression, sepa- 
ration from England was resolved upon, and the Revolution came. On 
Sunday evening, April twenty-second, 1775, the people of Orangetown 
and ITaverstraw heard the news which hard-riding couriers had brought, 
tiiat the now historic Battle of Lexington had been fouglit. Events now 
moved quickly. Calls were issued for a Provincial Congress at New 
York city and a Continental Congress at Philadelphia. The Orange 
county delegates to tlie Provincial Congress were: From Orangetown 
— Col. Abraham Lent and John Haring. Havorstraw — John Coe and 
David Pye. Goshen — Michael Jackson, Benjamin Tusten, Peter Clows 
and William Allison. Cornwall — Israel Seely, Jesse WoodhuU and 
Jeremiah Clark. 

The Orangetown representatives were chosen at a meeting hckl at 
the house of Mr. Yoost Mabie, Jacob Conklin being chairman, and Dr. 
Tlios. Cutwater clerk. Tlie Goshen meeting was at the inn of Isaac 
Nicoll, with Peter Clows as chairman and Balth. De Heart clerk. Tlic 
(/omwall meeting was at the house of John Brewster. 

The Provincial Congress met at the Exchange in New York city on 
May 22. Orange county being entitled to but two votes, the eleven 
delegates decided among themselves how the votes should be recorded 
on any question. It not being necessary that all the delegates sliouhl 
1)6 present at one time, the most regular attendants were Ilaring, Lent, 
Pye, Tusten and Woodhull. One of the first resolves of the Congress 
was that a post be taken in the Highlands on each side of the river, and 
batteries erected to prevent ships of the enemy from passing up. Col. 
James Clinton and Christopher Tappen, memljers fi-om Ulster, were 
ordered to go to the Highlands, taking such persons to assist them as 
they would deem necessary, and view the banks of the river; then to 
report to Congress the most pi-oper place for fortifications. The imjwrt- 
ance of controlling the Highlands, and consequently the river, was fully 
realized from the beginning. After the preliminary fights at Boston, 
the principal strategy of the war on the part of the British was to divid(> 
the colonies on the line of the Hudson. Nearly all the moves in the 
great conflict, beginning with the landing of Howe's army on Long 
Island, were parts of or incidental to that general plan. The Conti- 
nental Congress, when urging New York to hasten the completion of 



92 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

the Highland fortifications, transmitted a letter from General Schuyler 
at Ticonderoga saying: "Should a body of forces be sent up Hudson's 
river, and a chain of vessels stationed in all its extent, it would undoubt- 
edly greatly distress if not wholly ruin our cause. ... To me, 
Sir, every object of importance sinks almost to nothing M'hcn put in com- 
petion with the securing of Hudson's river." With the valley of the 
Hudson as the principal arena of the strife, and the Highlands as the 
key to the situation, Orange county, of which Kockland then fonned a 
part, was necessarily at the forefront of events. That she bore with 
fortitude the burdens and sutferiugs, and discharged with fidelity truly 
heroic the duties imposed upon her, is a part of the glorioiis history of 
the nation. 

The transactions of the Provincial Congress at its first session con- 
sisted principally, as might be supposed, of arrangements for carrying 
on the war; and although the representatives from Orange county were 
prominent in the proceedings, and although many of the transactions 
had a particular relation to our territory, only a few such matters may 
Le here referred to. It is worthy of record, as showing the general char- 
acter of the American soldiers in this war, that without exception they 
were fine specimens of manhood. None others were engaged for active 
seiwice in the field. "You will have great regard," said the order of 
Congress, "to moral character, sobriety in particiilar. Let oiu- manners 
distinguish us from our enemies as much as the cause we are engaged in." 

The Congress at Philadelphia having asked New York to raise four 
regiments for the Continental line, the Provincial Congress approved 
of the following officers: 

Fir.st Regiment — Colonel, Alex. McDougall; Lieut.-Colonel, liudol- 
phus Ritzema; xVdjutant, John Brogden. 

Second Regiment — Colonel, Myndert Roosebaum; LicTit.-Colonel, 
Goose Van Schaack; Adjutant, Barent T. TenEyck; Quart-ennaster, 
John W. Wendel. 

Third Regiment — Colonel, James Clinton; Lieut.-Colonel, Edward 
Fleming; Major, Cornelius I). Wyncoop. 

Fourth Regiment — Colonel, James Holmes; Lieut.-Colonel, Philii) 
Van Cordtlaudt; Major, Barnabas Tuthill. 

An arrangement was made with Robert Boyd of Xew Windsor and 
Henry Watkeys of New York to manufacture muskets for the New 
York troops, Boyd to make the gun linrrels and ramrods, and Watkeys 




a, 

H 

;^ 

©■ 
Q 

<: 



o 
5 



THE ARENA OF STRIFE. 93 

tlic locks, stocks and fittings. The factory was on Quassaick creek, in 
the town of Xew Windsor. Arrangements were also completed for the 
manufacture of powder at Khinebeck. A temporary supply of powder 
was procured from Elizabethtown. Upon being brought by mule team 
to Dobbs Ferry (west shore), David Pye, acting for Congress, received 
and consigned it to a sloop bound for Albany. 

When CongTess adjourned on July 8th a Committee of Safety was 
left in charge of Provincial affairs, ilr. Pye represented Orange county 
on this committee. One of its first acts was the purchase of sufficient 
Pussia drilling to make fifteen hundred waistcoats and as many pair of 
breeches. Also enough low i^riced linen to make three thousand shirts. 
Also fifteen thousand hats, fifteen hundred pair of shoes, three thousand 
pair of coarse homespun knit hose, and material for three thousand cra- 
vats. The Commissary-General was oi-dered to have the goods made up. 
From this the reader may obtain an idea of how the New York troops 
were attired. 

Peter Lent and Gilbert Cooper of Orange county were appointed 
muster-masters for Captain Robert Johnson's company, then enlisted 
for the Continental line. On Thursday, June 15, George Washington 
was chosen by the Congress at Philadelphia to command all the Conti- 
nental forces. Artemas Ward and Charles Lee were chosen major-gen- 
erals, and HoK.tio Gates adjutant-general. 

The Pledge of Association, an oath of allegiance to the patriot cause, 
received the following signatures in Orangeto\vn : 

DaWd Lawrence, David Aljea, Albert Aljea, 

Daniel Lawrence, Edward Brig-g-s, Garret Blauvelt, 

KasiJarius Conklin, Adrian Onderdonk, John Eycher, 

•Vvery Campbell, Rain Roll, Abraham Conklin. 

.Tames .Tacklin, Speedwell Jacklin, Nathandel Lawrence, 

Abraham Post, Conrad Gravenstine, Abraham Miabie, Jr., 

.Tacoib Wllfer, Michael Cornelison, Jacobus De Clarke, 

William ilaritin, Daniel Voorhees, Abraham Onderdonck, 

Jonas Torrell. .Tohn Gissnar, Jr., Abraham Tallman, 

Peter Retian, Daniel Onderdonk, Jacob Conklin, 

.Tohn Westervelt, William Bell, Jr., John Van Houten, 

Abraham Mabie, Harman Tallman, Garret Ackerson, 

.Tacob Ackerson, Hiarman Tallman, Jr. 

Certain persons who would not sign the main pledge drew up the 

following: "That we would not countenance rebellion, nor have any 

hand in a riot, but stand for king, country and liberty agreeable to the 

charter, hut at the same time disallowing taxation in any wise contrary 



94 



HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 



to the charter, and shall never accept taxation without being fully repre- 
sented with our consent." The foregoing received the following signa- 
tures: 



Isaac Sherwood, 
Cornelius Smith, 
CorneliuB Benson, 
Harmanus Kiselar, 
Guysbert F. Camp, 
Johannes Bell, 
Auri Blauvelt, 
Thunis Emmut, 
Thunis Crom, 
David D. Ackerman, 
Johannes Forshee, 



Cornelius De Gray, 
Garet Smith, 
,Tohn Palmer, 
Peter Forshee, 
John Smith, 
John Van Horn, 
John Rureback, 
Antthony Crouter, 
Peter Bush, 
Benjamin Secor, 
Reynard House, Jr. 



Alberd Smith, 
Daniel Gerow, 
John Cox, 
Derick Stra^vs, 
John Darlington, 
K. Quackenboss, 
Abraham DeBaun, 
Jacob Waldron, 
Arthur Johnston, 
Cornelius Smith, 



In Haverstraw Precinct the Association pledge was signed by the 



following : 



Robert Burns, 
John Coleman, 
Auri Smith, 
Adriani Onderdonk, 
John Acketrson, 
Samuel Knapp, • 
Abr'm Stephenson, 
Walter Smith, 
Cornelius Paulding-, 
Dowse Tallman, 
Thomas Morrall, 
Nathaniel Towenson, 
Harmanus Hoofman, 
James Hannan, 
Abriaham Polhemus, 
Edward Cane, 
Peter Salter, 
Andrew Onderdonk, 
Thunis Remsen, 
.Toseph Seamonds, 
Robert Ackerly, 
William Deronde, 
Jerod Knapp, 
Alex:ander Gilfon, 
.Johannes J. Blauvelt, 
.John Van Dolfsen, 
Edward Ackerman, 
John Martine, , 
Rulef Onderdonk, 
Albtard Onderdonk, 
Abraham Onderdonk, 
.Jeremiah Jlartine, 
.Jost Voorhis, 
.Johannes Cole, 
John Hill, 
Patten Jackson, 
John Allison, 



Joseph Knapp, 
John Coe, 
Henry Brower, 
John Smith, 
Alexander Mannell, 
John Suffern, 
■John Springsteei, 
.John Lent, 
Abram Ackerson, 
.John Wallace, 
Da\id Hoofman, 
Thomas Allison, 
Harmanus Felter, 
Thomas Dolphen, 
Peter Snyder, 
Rem Remsen, 
Stephen Stephenson, 
William Stringham, 
.James Thene, 
.John Toten, 
Richard Osbom, 
.John Dunscombe, 
.Jobair Knapp, ■-- 
Thomas Klngen, 
.Johannes Vanderbillt, 
Andrew Van Orden, 
Carpenter J\elly, 
Thomas Kelly, 
.James Onderdonk, 
Jacob Coles, 
Mauhel Tenure, 
Powlas Seamonds, 
Steiphen Voorhis, 
E. W. Tveese, 
Amos Hutchins, 
Joseph Allison, 
Peter Allison, 



David Pye, 
Robert Johnson, 
Thomas Eckerson, 
Harmanus Blauvelt, 
James Lanu, 
Abraham Rej'nolds, 
Joseph .Jones, .Jr., 
Jacob Polhemus, 
Theunis Snedeker, 
Nathaniel Barmore, 
Garret Cole, 
Henir.v Hallsited, 
Johannes Demarest, 
William Bell, 
Abraham Blauvelt, 
Matthew Coe, 
Thunis Tallman, 
Garret Paulding, 
Jacob Archer, 
John Toten, .Jr., 
Thomas DicMngs, 
Abel Ivnapp. 
Thomas Gilfon, 
Andrew Onderdonk, 
Rulef Stephensen, 
Derick Van Houten, 
Jacob Jirckie, 
Garret Onderdonk, 
Jacob Onderdonk, 
Henry Onderdonk, 
Johannes De Frees, 
John Voorhis, 
Edward Jones, 
Jacob Ivenifen, 
Peter Kiselar, 
Benjamin Allison, 
Roibert Allison, 



THE ARENA OF STRIFE. 



95 



Acl&ni Brady, 
Joseph Concklin, 
Abraham Garrison, 
GfeTa-it Van Hon ten, 
Peter Van Houfen, 
Harmanns Tfemper, 
John Graham, 
John Noblet, 
A. Kawkes Hay, 
Peter Orum, 
Henry Wood, 
Benjamin Knapi), ^.._ 
Abraham Derunde, 
Reuben Hunt, 
Jolin CuTiiming-s, 
"Mud Hole" Tenure, 
Johannes De Gray, 
John Hetcock, 
Aurt Remsen, 
Jobais Derunde, 
James Shirley, 
Jacobus Mayers, 
Simond Trump, 
Andrew Cole, 
.loliannes Bl'auvelt, 
Peter Salter, 
James Paul, 
Thunis Remsen, 
John Felter, 
Theunis Tallman, 
Garret Meyers, 
Theodorus Snedeker, 
G^a^ret Van Cleft, 
Cr^tTT^E'TTemseh, 
Cobar De Clark, 
Samuel Wilson, 
Leonard Bayle, 
Gilbert Fowler, 
■Jacob Secor,- 
Thomas Osborn, 
Daniel Coeklate, — 
Ellis Se<"or,v 
John Secor,' 
.Jonah Halstead, 
.Torialthan Taylor, 
■Tames Stewart, 
.Tames Smith, 
Cornelius Smith, 
Auri Smitih, 
■Tacob .Tones, 
Cornelius Cooper, 
.Tacob Cooper, 
John W. Cog-g, 
.John .T. Coe, 
Samuel Coe, 



.Tohn .Tohnson, 
Michael Concklin, 
Claus Van Houten, 
Roosevelt Van Houten, 
Thunis Van Houten, 
Powlas Vandervoort, 
John Jersej', 
Abraham DePuy, 
Daniel Morall, 
William Crum, 
Robert Wood, 
■Tames Carmelt, 
,Tohn Ackerman, 
Gilbart Hunt, 
■Tolin De Grote, 
Benjamin Holstead, 
John Slotrt., 
John Mead,~ 
Henry Mackrel, 
Theodorus Polhemus, 
Timothy Halstead, 
Abra.ha,m Mayers, 
.Tohiannes Meyer, 
Thomas Blauvelt, 
Isaac Mianuel, 
.Tonaithan Lounsberry, 
.Joseph Wood. ,Tr., 
Jeremiah Williamison, 
Derick Vander'bilt, 
William Felter, 
Abraham Tallman, 
Abraham Thew,~- — 
James Kelly, 
Aurt Polhemus, 
Luke Stephenson, 
Daniel De Clark, 
Henry Tenure, Sr., 
Thomais .Tax-ks, 
Peter Easterly, 
■Ton'ah Wood, 
Gairit Snedeker, 
Stephen Beane, 
.Tames Seoor, — . 
Peter De Pue, 
.Tohn Hialstead, 
Benjamin .Tones, 
Thunis De Clark, 
Stephen Smith, 
Lambert Smith, 
Daniel Smith. 
Theunds Cuyper, 
Wilvart Cooper, 
.John Cuyper, 
Gaibriel Fargyson, 
Daniel Coe, 



William Concklin, 
Abraham Concklin, 
Charles R. Van llouteu, 
P. Van Houten, Sr., 
Rulef Van Houten, 
Nathaniel Odie, Jr., 
Siba Banta, 
John Thew, 
Gilbard Crumm, 
.Tohn Parker, 
William Wood, 
Moses C. Charter, 
■Tacob Derunde, 
.Toseph Hunt, 
Thomas Goldtrap, 
.John Stogg, 
William Trunoper, 
.John Vandervoort, 
Jonrnas Sele, 
.Tohannes Polhemus, 
Daniel Parker, 
John Mayers, 
■Tames Wilson, 
Isaac Blauvelt, 
John Clark, 
Pcnvlas Hopper, 
Harmianus Tallman, 
.Jacob Meyers, 
Isaac Dutcher, 
■Tohannes Remsen, 
Ebenezer Wood, 
.Tames Sharp, 
.Tohn Brush, 
Jacobus De Clark, 
Jobair Lauery, 
.Tohannes ■Tenwie, 
■Jacob Tenure, 
Thomas Wilson, 
Abraham Stag, >Tr., 
Aurt Amorman, 
Jonas Snedeker, 
William Slatt, 
David Secor, . 
William Dozenberry, 
John Smith, 
Peter Reed, 
Joseph De Clark, 
William Smith, 
Peter Smith, 
Daniel Ward, 
Gilbard Cuyper, 
Albard Cooper, 
■John Cuiper, Jr., 
Benjamin Coe, 
Daniel Coe, Jr., 



96 



HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 



Joseph Jones, 
Garrit Ackersion, 
James Christie, 
Francis Cline, 
Fred Urie, 
FraiK-is Girnee, 
Isaac Girnee, Jr., 
Harmanus Snyder, 
Gra-sliam Huff, 
Willinei Crnm, 
William Hause, 
,Tohn D. Tallman, 
John Jeffries, 
John Hogrencamp, 
William Stephens, 
Paul Persall, 
Charles MotJt, 
II. Trumper, Jr., 
Jacob Mall, 
David Babcock, 
Isaac Cole, 
Abraham Koll, 
Petris Blauvelt, 
William Youman, Jr. 
John Parker, Jr., 
.Tohn Gardner, 
John G. Lorald, 
Ezekiel Ward. 
Philip Sa-rveult, 

The following resl' 

Association: 
Matthew Ste^el, 
Dennis Sneeding, 
Riahl Bogard. 
Gesebert E. Bogardit, 

In the Precinct of 
Roger Osburn, 
Benjamin Osbnrn, 
.Tohn R. Osburn, 
William Babcock, 
Tompkins Oddle, 
.Tohn G. .Tohnston. 
LodoAvick Shumaker, 
.Tonais Loderick, 
William Dobbs, 
John Pollan, 
Abraham Babcook, 
Benjamin Ackerson, 
Thomas Ackerson, 
Lewis Concklin, 
.Toseph Concklin, 
Frederick Post, 
John Post, 
Henry Hoisted, 



Powl'as Vandervoort, 
Joseph .Tones, Jr., 
Gilbert Wilson, 
James Stia^g, 
Jos.eph Palmer, 
Patrick Gurnee, 
Francis Girnee, Jr., 
(2) Francis Girnee, 
Henry Snyder, Sr., 
Edward Holstead, 
Ilendrick PoUiemus, 
David Sherwood, 
Thomas Dinard, 
Richard Springsteel, 
Benjamin Benson, 
.Tames Rumsev, 
Markel Mott, " 
.Toseph Johnston, 
,\ndrew Abrames, 
William Snyder, 
Reynard Hopper, 
Daniel Van Sickles, 
.Taoobns Van Orden, 
Ezekiel Youmans, 
Isaac Parker, 
George .Tohnston, 
.Tacob Bartholomew, 
William Kempe, 
Adrian Sarvent. 



Samuel Sidman, 
John Harper, 
Samuel Youmans, 
Abraham Springsteel, 
Henry Houser, 
Stephen Girnee, 
Isaiac Girnee, 
Paul RiJttan, 
Henry Snyder, Jr., 
Jacob .Tones, 
Thunis H. Tallema, 
Samuel Hunt, 
John Burges, 
Hendrick Stephens, 
.Tohn Persnll. Jr., 
Salvanus Mcrtt, 
Thomas Tillt, 
William Rider, 
M. Vandervoort, 
Reynan Gerow, 
Aliraham Brower, 
Albard Stephenson, 
Daniel Martine, 
Benjamin Furmian, 
Paul Vandervoort, 
.Tohn Lorillard, 
Da\'id Halstead, 
Rev. Robert Burns, 
Jacob Parker, 



dents of Orangetown declined to sign the General 



.Taoob C. Ackerson, 
Robert .Sneeding, 
Isaac G. Blauvelt, 
Jaoo'b Gessener, 

Haverstraw the follo\ving 
Richard Osburn, 
Nathaniel Osburn, 
Abraham Babcock, 
Gilbert .Tohnston, 
Abraham .Tohnston, 
William Winter, 
Ezekiel Ferguson, 
A. Montgomery, 
.Tohn .Tohnston, 
John Springsteel, 
Jacob Ackerson, 
David Ackerson, 
Lewis Concklin. .Tr., 
Ezeldel Concklin, 
Isaac Post, 
Joseph Heston, 
Henry Hoisted, Sr., 
William Concklin, 



Johannes Perry, 
George Man, 
Jesse Sneeding. 

would not sign: 
James R. Osburn, 
.Tamets Babcock, 
Nathaniel Oddle, 
Guysbert .Tohnston, 
Lawrence .Tohnston, 
Andris Pallis, 
Raynard House, Sr., 
Jtatthew Ellison, 
William Brabcock, 
Thomas Ackerman, 
Derick Ackerson, 
Abraham Concklin, 
■Tohn Con<"klin, 
S. Heymen. 
Abraham Post, 
.Toseph Knapp, 
Thoma.s Sinith, 
Nicholas Concklin, 



THE ARENA OF STRIFE. 



97 



Isaac Concklin, 
L. VanBuskrrk, 
Peter Wanamaker, 
Johannes Eush, 
Samuel Matthews, 
Ooon Fridrick, 
Moses Van Niostrant, 
John Eider, 
John Armstrong, 
^John Secor, 
Peter Stephens, 
Adam Deter, 
Jacob Sarvant, 
John Sarvent, 
Henry Tenyek, 
James I/amb, Sr., 
Jost Buskirk, 



y- 



Jacobus VanBusldrk, 
Peter Frederick, 
Haulberg Bucker 
.Tost Short, 
Andrew Haldrom, 
G. Van Nostrant, 
Joseph Rider, 
Hemry Warden, 
Samuel Secor, 
Henry Areler, 
John Dobbs, 
Henry Sarvent, 
Isaac Berea, 
Henry Tenyek, Jr., 
Cornelius Crum, 
Jacob Waldron, 
Andrie Bellis, 



Henry Wanamaker, 

Samuel Bairta, 

John George, 

John Weaver, 

Peter Jersey, 

Daniel De Clark, 

John Tovcn, 
xTohn Secor, Jr., 
/Isaac J. Secor, 

Clans Corlosh, 

Peter Vandervoort, 

Philip Sarvent, 

Jacob Tenyek, 

Samuel Bird, 

.John Crum, 

Edward Waldron, 



The reader should not too hastily condemn those who failed at this 
time to signify their allegiance to the cause of independence, for some 
afterward took their stand by tlie side of the patriots. Justice should 
he rendered to those who could not see the wisdom of forcing opinions 
into warfare, and who for a while longer held to what they deemed con- 
scientious loyalty. It is a matter of history, however, that a large ele- 
ment among the people, more especially those not long over from Eng- 
land, and many who were called "aristocrats," did not enter at any time 
into the spirit of the revolution. The sentiment on the east side of the 
lower Hudson in 1775 vas such that the record of the Provincial Con- 
gress bears testimony that the militia of Westchester county could not 
be depended on. When it is considered that the whole population of 
Orange county, north and south of the mountains, was only about twelve 
thousand (including slaves), and that less than half of this number 
belonged to Haverstraw and OrangetoA\ai, it -will be understood that in 
furnishing the number of patriot soldiers wliich will hereafter appear, 
Southern Orange, or the present Rockland county, performed a most 
distinguished service for the country. 

In August Congress passed a law for the general reconstruction of 
the militia, and in obedience thereto the county was divided into dis- 
tricts, or beats, by the local Committee of Safety, and one company was 
raised in each district. A company ordinarily consisted of eighty-three 
men, including officers. The officers were chosen by the ballots of all 
the members in the most democratic manner possible. The company 
was dra\vn up in line before the local Committee of Safety, and each 
man stepped forward and registered his choice. Every able bodied man, 



98 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

unless for some reason excused, was a member of the militia and liable to 
be called out at any time. Having organized this force, Congi-ess pro- 
ceeded to form companies called Minute Men, by taking every fourth 
man from the militia and assigning him to duty as a "minute man." 
Whenever whole companies offered their services as minute men they 
were commanded by the officers already chosen. Otherwise, militia 
officers were appointed for the minute men according to rank. The 
minute men met once eaeli week for drill, and the other troops once a 
month. The militia regiments of the counties of JSI^ew York, Kings and 
Richmond were formed into one brigade ; the Dutchess and Westchester 
men into another brigade; the Orange and Ulster men constituted a 
brigade imder General George Clinton, and the Queens and SuH'olk 
troops were brigaded together. 

When the Provincial Committee of Safety met again, in September, 
John Haring of Oraugx^town was unanimously chosen chairman. In 
October the first batteries were completed in the Highlands, and the 
colors I'aised over them. The first fortifications were situated on Con- 
stitution Island, or Marteleaer's Rock, as the name then was. Colonel 
Hay of Haverstraw was appointed commissary for all the militia north of 
King-sbridgc when in service on the west side of the Hudson. Captain 
Hutchins was appointed commander of the minute men of Ilavei-straw. 
(It may be well to state here that the minute men as a distinct organiza- 
tion had but a brief existence.) The militia of Orangctown were con- 
stituted one reg-iment, and the militia of Haverstraw another. The 
Orangetown soldiers elected the following officers: 

Colonel, Abraham Lent; Lieut.-Colonel, Johannes David Blauvclt; 
Major, Johannes Joseph Blauvelt; Adjutant, Jacobus De Clark; Quar- 
termaster, Isaac Perry. 

Southern Company — Captain, Johannes Jacobis Blauvelt; Fii-st 
Lieutenant, James Lent; Second Lieutenant, James Smith; Ensign, 
Hemy V. Verbryck. 

Northern Company — Captain, Isaac Smith ; First Lieutenant, Johan- 
nes Isaac Blauvelt; Second Lieutenant, William Sickles; Ensign, Lam- 
bert Smith. 

Eastern Company — Captain, Johannes Bell; First Lieutenant, John 
Sitcher; Second Lieutenant, William Graham; Ensign, Daniel Onder- 
donk. 



THE ARENA OF STRIFE. 99 

Estimating each company's strength at eighty men gives a battalion 
strength of 240. The total white population of Orangotown at that time 
was scarcely one thousand. Colonel Lent was an experienced officer, but 
he had his own troubles. His battalion was chiefly composed of those 
who understood but little English, and he found it impossible to drill 
them in a proper manner. In ilarcli of the foUoAving year he gave up 
in despair and resigned his commission. The command then devolved 
on Lieutenant-Colonel David Blaiivelt. 

Colonel Hay was the iirst commander of the Haverstraw militia regi- 
ment, but the names of the other regimental officers were not spread on 
the minutes of Congress. 

A minute company was organized in Haverstraw precinct, with the 
following officers: Capt., Benjamin Coe; First Lieut., Abram Onder- 
donk; Second Lieut., Paulis M. Vandervoort; Ensign, Daniel Coe, Jr. 

The A^arious minute companies of the county were organized into one 
regiment, for Avhich the county committee selected the officers : Colonel 
Isaac Nicoll of Goshen: Lieut.-Col., Gilbert Cooper of Haverstraw; 
First Major, Hendrick Vanderlinder Verbryck of Tappan; Second Ma- 
jor, Hezckiah Howell of Blooming Grove. 

In February, 1776, David Pye, who was chairman of a committee 
on the south side of the mountain, recommended the following for offi- 
cers in two companies for the Continental line, "upon the probability 
that they will be completed:" (1) Capt., Amos Hutchins; First Lieut., 
Patrick Jackson; Second Lieut., Eobert Wood; Ensign, George John- 
ston. (2) Capt., Auri King; First Lieut., William Sickler; Second 
Lieut., John D. Coe; Ensig-n, Peter Oblenus. It was subsequently 
decided by CongTess that one company only was needed from this sec- 
tion of the county, and Amos Hutchins was appointed captain. Pre- 
sumably Peter Jackson was at tlie same time appointed First. Lieuten- 
ant; Kobert Wood, Second Lieutenant, and George Johnston, Ensign. 

A military company was mustered at Kakiat, in Fcbniary, 1776, Avith 
the following officers: Capt., Reynard Quackenboss; First. Lieut., Gar- 
ret Eckerson; Second Lieut., Jacob TenEyck; Ensign, Roger Osbom. 
The first request for troops from Orange county for general service 
came in November, '75, Avhen the Continental Congress asked for 67 
men to assist in gaiTisoning the Highland batteries. Ulster and Dutchess 
each contributed the same number for the same puqiose. A large stock 
of provisions had by this time been stored at the forts. The next order 



100 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

of tlio kind took ITiitoliins' niinutc iiicn from Ilavcrstraw, Ttoliort John- 
son's fi'oni Clarkstown, and Denton's from Goshen, to join the First (Rit- 
zema's) Continental ilej^ment at New York. Subsequently they were 
assigned to Colonel James Clinton's regiment, the Third. Upon their 
departure from IIav(;rstraw, llntchins' men were supplied with powder 
from Edward Kiers' store, at the order of the Provincial Congress. In 
March, '70, sixty-five privates were drafted out of Colonel Hay's regi- 
ment of militia and thirty-five from Colonel Blauvelt's, and all sent to 
New York, under Captain Isaac Blauvelt, for service in the Continental 
line. Seven men in Captain Avery Blauvelt's militia company, at Hav- 
erstraw, who refused to obey the draft, were arrested and sent to New 
York under guard. The several companies thus sent to New York went 
with the expedition under Montgomery to the invasion of Canada. They 
were well armed and nnifonned, wearing blue broadcloth dresscoats, 
with crimson cuffs and facings. Each of the four regiments had a differ- 
ent uniform, at least so far as related to the colors of the coats. The 
breeches came only to the knee, where the long homespun stockings 
began. Add the black broad-brimmed felt hats and you have a picture 
of the Continentals. The gallajitry they displayed and the sufferings 
they endured, in the vain attempt to take Quebec with an insufflcient 
force, are known to all. 

Early in July General Howe landed, first on Staten Island, and on 
the 27th of the following month the Battle of Long Island was fought. 
The disparity between the forces was too great to render the result doubt- 
ful. The British secured New York city and the control of the lower 
Hudson, for Washington was coni]>elled to retreat in the course of the 
following month to Harlem Heights, and then to White Plains, where, 
on October 28, a battle was fought. The American di\'isions retreated 
into New Jersey, and on November 16 Fort Washington was taken by 
the British; two days later Fort Lee fell. 0\ving to these reverses, the 
Fourth Provisional Congress was compelled to move from New York 
city to Harlem, Kingsbridgc, Yonkers, White Plains and Fishkill. The 
delegates to that Congress from this county were John Haring, David 
Pye, Thomas Cutwater, Jo.shua H. Smith, Isaac Sherwood, William 
Allison, Archibald Little and Jeremiah Clarke. 

The fortifications that had been erected on Constitution Island were 
not considered satisfactory by commissioners sent by the Continental 
( 'ongvess to inspect them. Lord Sterling reported that Mr. Romans, 



THE ARENA OF STRIFE. 101 

the engineer, had "disj)hiyprl liia genius at very great expense and to very 
little public advantage." The construction of Fort Montgomery on 
the north side of Poplopcn's kill had then been ordered. This fort when 
completed consisted of open lines, "faced with fascines and filled in with 
strong, good loam." There was a small redoubt on the hill in the roar 
of the main works for defence against an attack on the land side. The 
garrison at Fort Montgomery in June, 1776, consisted of three com- 
panies of Colonel James Clinton's regiment, in all about one hundred 
and sixty men, and the force at Fort (constitution consisted of two com- 
panies of the same regiment and Captain Wisner's company of minute 
men. All these were from Orange and Ulster counties. Upon the 
appearance of the Eritish at Now York, the construction of anotln'r fort 
was commenced on the south side of Poplo|>en's kill, and on higher 
ground than where Fort Montgomery stood. At the same time orders 
were issued for the construction of a boom with chain to be stretched 
across the river from Fort Montgomery to Anthony's Xose, where there 
was a fortified position for protecting the eastern end of the unique 
obstruction to navigation. In front of the massive construction of logs 
aud chains, two cables were to be suspended, with their ends fastened to 
the shores. Several armed vessels, including the Montgomery and the 
Congress, were stationed above the batteries. The armament of Fort 
^lontgomery comprised four 32-pounders, ten 12-pounders, ten 6-pound- 
ers, one 3-pounder on field carriage, and two 2-pounders on garrison car- 
riages. Fort Clinton was nearly as well armed. So far as their front 
a.spect was concerned, the works were unquestionably formidable, and it 
is not conceivable that a fleet could have run past. They were built 
under the practical supervision of Captain Machin, from designs evolved 
by several commissions. The actual labor of constructing Fort Clinton 
and the works at Anthony's ISTose was perfonued by the garrison of Fort 
Montgomery, on General George Clinton's order. Unfortiuiately, Fort 
Clinton had few defences against a land attack, and Fort Montgomery 
only a small redoubt. Apparently, no one ever imagined that the forts 
would be subjected to assault from the rear. 

On the evening of Friday, July 14, signal fires on High Tor and 
other mountain tojis, the reverberations of cannon-shots from the forts 
and the beating of drums summoned the militia to arms. Three large 
ships of war and four cutters had passed the forts at Now York that after- 
noon, and some hours later one forty and one twenty-gmi ship anchored 



102 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

off Nyack. That niglit a boat attempted to land, but turned back on be- 
ing challenged. Fast-riding couriers set out from Haverstraw with Col- 
onel Hay's oi'ders and dispatches, and soon the companies were on the 
march to the point of danger. At daybreak the next morning the Nyack 
shore was lined with four hundred concealed riflemen. Soon a barge 
under the escort, of a cutter attempted to land. The eiitter grounded 
some distance fi'om the shore, and the barge met a fire from the river 
bank that caused it to put back. The squadron continued at anchor until 
Saturday morning between ten and eleven, when all the vessels weighed 
and set sail up the river. The patriot troops followed by road. At noon 
the ships arrived in Haverstraw Bay, and finally came to anchor off the 
village. ImTnediately four barges were lowered, with the evident 
design of ransacking the stores, that had been accumulated there for 
the American troops. The smaller ships came in close to cover the 
landing party, but met a detennined resistance from the shore, led by 
Conmiitteeman John Coe. Undaunted by the heavy broadsides from 
the ships, the patriots presented an unyielding front, and prevented the 
landing of the sailors. No damage was done by the British fire. The 
"Battle of Haverstraw" was a victory for the gallant defenders! Early 
in the afternoon one of the cutters grounded near Stony Point, which 
was then unfortified. If Colonel Hay had been equipped with artillery 
ho could have destroyed the vessel, where she lay, as six hours elapsed 
before she was freed. When lying in the middle of the river the ships 
Avere out of range of shore musketry, and some were protected along the 
sides by sand-bags. 

General George Clinton was at Fort Constitution when he heard of 
the coming of the fleet Friday afternoon. He immediately dispatched 
couriers to Colonel Hasbrouck at Newburgh, Colonel Woodhiill at Corn- 
wall, and to Colonel McClaughry at New Windsor, ordering the first to 
hurry two hundred men to Fort Constitution at once, the second to send 
two himdred to Fort Montgomery, and the third to march to the river 
bank at Newburgh, there to await a second signal before proceeding 
on to Fort Montgomery. At the same time he issued orders to all reg- 
iments in his brigade north of the Highlands to stand ready to march at 
a moment's notice, and dispatched expresses to the owners of all sloops 
for twenty miles iip the river to be prepared to carry down the militia. 
'J'hat very night Woodhull's Cornwall regiment marched into Fort Mont- 
gomery, and the next morning came Lieut.-Colonel McClaughry and 



THE ARENA OF STRIFE. 103 

his men, not two Inindrcd strong:, but five liundred, from New Windsor 
and Little Britain. Tlie five luindrcd were Col. James Clinton's men; 
tliey had come to help defend the fort which he commanded. Mc- 
Clanc,hry was second in command in this regiment. Gen. George Clin- 
ton had ordered the Colonels to leave the frontier companies at home, 
to protect the country against the Indians, for the men of '76 were vir- 
tnally between two fires. 

The same day Congress ordered out for active service one-fourth of 
all the militia in Orange, Ulster, Dutchess and Westchester, the levies to 
be fonned into companies and regiments. The troops thus raised on 
the east side of the river were to proceed to Peekskill, and those on the 
west side to take station in the Highlands at such places as Gen. Clinton 
should designate. For the Orange county troops the following officers 
were appointed: Colonel, Isaac NicoU of Goshen; Lieutenant-Colonel, 
Gilbert, Cooper of Ilaverstraw; Major, Hendrick Vanderlinden Van 
Kryck. Each regiment imder this call consisted of ten companies, and 
each company of sixty-one men. Every private had to furnish or pay 
for his own gun, also provide himself Avith a blanket and knapsack, and 
every six men were expected to find a camp kettle. The term of enlist- 
ment was six months. Twenty dollars, as bounty, and continental pay 
were allowed to each man. 

On Sunday, the 17th, Captain Moffat and eighty men were sent from 
Fort Montgomery to reinforce the shore gaiard at Ilaverstraw and per- 
mit some of Hay's men to return home. One hundred men of the pre- 
cinct were to remain on diity for a week, then be relieved by one hundred 
others from the same regiment. The commanding general also aiTived 
at Ilaverstraw on Sunday, and moved the government goods, sheep and 
cattle back to a place of safety. 

The British ships, the largest of which were named the Phenix and 
Rose, spent much time in making soundings. No communication with 
the shore was allowed. On Sunday afternoon one of the cutters ven- 
tured up the river too far and received a bolt in her quarter from one of 
I'ort Montgomery's thirty-two pounders, which caused her to beat a 
hasty retreat. Later the same vessel sent a party ashore at Peekskill to 
commit depredations. They had set fire to one dwelling and to a 
wheat field, when some American riflemen assembled and opened 07i 
them, killing several. The movements of the ships kept the shore guard, 
and the gan-ison at Fort Montgomery, constantly on the alert. To 



104 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

guard against surprise at night, General Clinton posted sentinels on the 
point of the Diindcrhcrg and elsewhere with orders to discharge their 
muskets and start signal fires if the ships made any suspicious move- 
ment. Non-combattants were forbidden from walking along the shore 
after dark, and all boats were kept in Minisceongo creek, near Colonel 
Hay's house, under guard, with the object of preventing any commimi- 
cation with the enemy. Some large fire-rafts that had been hastily con- 
trived at Poughkeepsie Avere arranged in line, by anchors and cables, 
between Fort Montgomery and Anthony's Nose. Some of the "rafts" 
were old sloops and schooners. All were filled with highly combustible 
material, to be ignited in case of attack, not only for the purpose of guid- 
ing the aim of the gainnei-s, but also to menace, if not destroy, the 
enemy's ships. Along the east shore General Clinton had prepai-ed 
large j^iles of biiish, wood and leaves, with sentries at hand to fire them 
on the signal being given from below. The General was especially 
ajiprehensive of the enemy selecting a dark night to slip by. One night 
a deserter from the Rose swam ashore, and Colonel Hay and Captain 
jVicoll pumped him dry and forwarded the information to General ClLn- 
tdu, who in turn transmitted it to Xew York. From the sailor it was 
learned that the name of the captain of the Phenix was Parker, and 
that Wallace was the name of the captain of the Rose. Captain Wal- 
lace himself on one occasion, the sailor said, had led a shore party that 
destroyed a poor man's house at a lonely place under the mountain. The 
captain had taken for his share of the loot a handkerchief full of salad and 
a pig. 

As from time to time the shore guard was changed various officers 
were in charge. Colonel Hay was tireless and faithful. Colonel Blau- 
velt and Major Cooper were also efiicient. Others who were on this duty 
during the period of danger were Colonel Nicoll, Major Samuel Logan, 
Lieut. Brewster, Lieut. Langdon, Lieut. McNeal and Captain Moffat, 
all either Orange or Ulster men. The squadron continued in Hav-er- 
straw Bay until haK-past ten o'clock on the morning of July 25, when 
it set sail and crossed over to the cove on the south side of Croton Point, 
at the mouth of the river of the same name, where, it is recorded, the 
erews were able to obtain some supplies from the (Westchester) shore. 
All this while the patriot sons of Orange and Ulster were building the 
fortifications on the south side of Poplopen's kill and at the foot of 
Antliony's Nose. 




H 
xn 



O 



THE ARENA OF STRIFE. 105 

There was no relief from the strain for shore guards and garrison 
nntil Saturday afternoon, August 3, wlien five trim vessels flying the 
American colors were discovered coming up the Tappan Zee. The hoiu- 
of reckoning had come for the British intruders. The rattle of the 
drums as the surprised ships pi'epared for action came faintly across the 
water. Closer came the American squadron, and the King's sailors 
could see that, though few in number and small the vessels of our "new 
navy" were heavily armed. The first shot was fired from H. M. S. Phe- 
nix at a quarter past one, and was immediately replied to by the Amer- 
ican flagship, which proved to be the Lady Washington, commanded by 
Benjamin Tupper. The reports echoed among the moimtains ^and 
brought hvmdreds of people to the banks of the river, to gaze upon the 
first naval fight in the history of the Hudson. The British projectile 
went wide, but the course and effect of the American answer thereto 
proved that the ''man behind the gun" knew his business. The thirty- 
two pounds of iron bored the Plienix through. The high sides of the 
forty-gun frigate offered a fine target for our gunners, and soon the splin- 
ters began to fly. The other vessels of the Continental squadron, the 
Spitfire, Shark, Whiting and Crown, ranged up in line with the Lady 
Washington and poured in their iron. The British twenty-gun ship, 
the Rose, and the four sloops of war gallantly followed the motions of 
the Phenix, and the black pall of battle was throwni over all. For an 
hour and a half the terrific bulldog fight continiied. With little or no 
chance to manoeuvi-e, it was simply a case of execution and endurance. 
Wooden sides were stout and did not smash like egg shells by any means; 
they offered a considerable measure of protection from fiercest gunfire of 
the period. Only the gun flashes could be seen through the dense 
>5niokc, but the thunder of the broadsides was heard many miles away. 
An hour an a half was a long time to continue such fearful work. Tlie 
long 32-pounder on the Lady Washington did gi-eat execution until it 
cracked. And although the flagship received the principal fire of tlio 
Phenix, not one aboard of her was killed, and oidy four slightly wound- 
ed. Naturally, the sails and rigging were cut considerably, but her 
oaken walls withstood the iron hurricane successfully. Gradually the 
opposing lines drifted apart, and the firing ceased by general consent. 
From Dobbs Ferry Conunander Tupper sent a report to the State Leg- 
islature at five o'clock, after a conference with his captains. The Sjiit- 
fire reported only one killed and two badly wounded, but the Shark had 



106 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

nine killed or wounded. The Spitfire's hull and rigging were much 
damaged, and the Lady AVashington had thirteen holes in her hnll. The 
damage to the British was reported as heavy, though particulars were 
not obtainable. The aim of the American gunners must have been, as 
ever, very accurate, for Commander Tupper "saw many splinters drift- 
ing down." Parker, the English commodore, did not try to renew the 
fight, and the Americans, knowing that there were other British men- 
of-war in New York harbor, and, fearing to be caught between two fires, 
retired to Spiayten Duyvel creek. The King's ships gave no more 
trouble, and on the ISth ran past Fort Washington and the American 
batteries at New York to join the royal fleet in the bay below. The 
departure of the enemy pennitted the shore guard and the garrisons at 
the Highland forts to be reduced to skeleton organizations. 

But there was more work to do. Immediately came a call for troops 
to confi'ont the British at New York, and General George Clinton being 
assigned to the command of all the levies raised and to be raised in 
Orange, Ulster, Dutchess and Westchester, was ordered to march all his 
forces, except such as were needed for patrol and garrison duty, to the 
fortifications at King's Bridge. Under this call two new companies 
were formed oTit of what remained of Colonel Hay's militia, and ordered 
to report to Major Thompson at Pcekskill, there to be employed in erect- 
ing fortifications at the mouth of the kill, on the north side, with Cap- 
tain Machim as engineer in charge. Captains Dnrunde and Onderdonk 
were appointed to command these troops. All other companies on the 
west sliorc then in active service were dispatched to King's Bridge, and 
the iwo troops of cavalry attached to the militia of Orange and Ulster 
were called from their homes and directed to patrol the ri\'ersidc from 
Foi t ]\rontgomery southward as far as necessary. 

In the battles of Harlem Heights and White Plains the men from 
Orange county took conspicuous parts. At Harlem, Clinton's brigade 
twice repulsed and pursued superior numbers. "SAHien the British 
entered New York, many families fled into the country, and scarcely a 
homo in Orangetown or Haverstraw but received and sheltered strang- 
ers. Tlic burdens, sacrifices and sufferings of our heroic ancestors are 
beyond expression. When the American forces were driven from Har- 
lem, the wounded were forwarded by sloops to Tappan, and the court 
house in Orangetown was prepared for their occupancy. AVe may well 



THE ARENA OF STRIFE. 107 

imagine that the kindly women of the neighborhood contributed much 
to aik'viate the sufferings of the stricken defenders of their country. 

Little or no rest was pennitted the patriots of southern Orange. 
When there was scarcely a home that was not represented on the firing- 
lines in Westchester, in tlic sliore patrol or among the toiling fortifica- 
tion-builders in the Highlands, word came that the Indians were com- 
mitting ravages on the western frontier of the county. Detatchments 
had scarcely set off for diity there when alarm guns were heard from the 
river again. Another British squadron was coming. On the morning 
of October 9 th, at eight o'closk, three large ships, one being the Plienix 
and another the Koebuck, of 44 guns, besides three tenders, came within 
range of Forts Washington and Lee. Though "briskly cannonaded," 
they kept on, with all sails set, and being favored by a southerly breeze, 
smashed through the chevaux-de-frise, much to the surprise and mortifi- 
cation of the Americans. Lying above the forts were two new and yet 
unanned Continental men-of-war and two smaller vessels. All set sail 
and headed up stream. The small vessels (sloops) were captured, but 
for a while the others, one of which was the Independence, showed clean 
pairs of heels to their pursuers. As they could not enter Spu\i:en 
Duyvel creek on that tide, they were compelled to keep on. The wind 
strengthening, the British frigates with their greater sailspread began to 
close the gap. At eleven o'clock they opened fire with their bow-chasers 
and at noon had over-reached their enemy, which now stood inshore, 
where the water was shoal. At half-past one the Independence and her 
consort, being all the while under a heavy fire, were run ashore just 
above Dobbs Ferry, and the crews escaped to the shore by s^rimming. 
That night the beacon fires were blazing along the river, and couri(^rs 
flying with orders. Colonel Hay's militia were called to the river again, 
and in a few days he received reinforcements from the upper part of the 
county. 

Between November 8th and 10th Washing-ton's army crossed to the 
west side of the Hudson. Lord Sterling crossed on the 9th at King's 
Ferry vnth 1,200 men, followed the next day by General Hand -with 
7,000, and by General Ball with 1,700 of Putnam's men. Other divi- 
sions passed over at Sneeden's Landing and Tappan Slote. General 
Howe followed with 6,000 British, crossing to Closter, N. ,T. General 
Clinton remained for a time ia the Highlands. 



108 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

For the next two months Southern Orange was the arena for march- 
ing armies, for skirmislies and depredations. The Tory element, encour- 
aged by the successes of the Britisli and the proximity of Lord Howe's 
forces, became dangerous as well as malignant. Even among the rem- 
nant of Hay's regiment were mutterings, disaffection and open insubor- 
dination, so much so that General Scott was ordered by General Heath, 
whose headquarters were at Peekskill, to proceed to Haverstraw with his 
brigade to cover the stores and prevent the passage of the enemy into the 
defiles of the Highlands. 

In the river opposite l^yack lay a squadron of seven British ves- 
sels, -with Colonel Malcolm and a patriot force of one lumdred guard- 
ing the shore, but not entirely able to prevent depredations by the 
sailors. Colonel Himtington was in Ramapo pass, where he had thrown 
up earthworks and erected barracks. Winter was coming on and the 
])rivalions of both the people and the soldiery were extreme. For a 
time Tyler's regiment was at Tappan, and when it withdrew to Eamapo 
the Tories and "cowboys," always active between the lines, raided the 
village (December 7th), cut down the liberty pole, stole whatever they 
could and terrorized the inhabitants. The next morning Colonel Mal- 
colm's force from Nyack went on the trail of the raiders, routed them 
out of their homes and hunted them for miles. It is sad that the history 
cf TJockland coimty is stained with the doings of some misguided sons. 
The Tories within her borders joined with those in Bergen county in 
forming armed companies to aid the King's caiise, and were so active 
and threatening in the vicinity of Tappan that General Heath marched 
thc^i'e with 2,000 men, including the force he had previously stationed at 
Haverstraw, and after two days continued on to Ilackcnsack. Colonel 
Hasbrouck's regiment, from iSlewburgh, now took post at Haverstraw, 
and Colonel Allison's at Orangetown. 

General Heath found the inhabitants in the utmost distress. The 
Tories; wfre joining the enemy and insulting and disanning the Whigs, 
besides stripping them of their cattle and effects. But the advent of so 
many freemen eager to square accounts completely extinguished Tory 
'/.cal in that quarter. 

The last campaign of a trying year for the faithful militia of Orange 
county began in the second week of December, when Cieneral George 
Clinton called out 2,000 men, all from Orange and Ulster, and marched 
by divisions into the Ramapo valley to harrass the enemy's rear. General 




w 

■Si 



i5 

o 



s 

z 



5 



THE ARENA OF STRIFE. 109 

Heath returned with his force to Pe-ekskill, after capturing large stores 
at Ilackensack. The British detachments had fled from that village at 
his approach to Newark. General Clinton, after excursions to Ilacken- 
sack, Paramu's and Ringwood, disposed his forces through the Ramapo 
valley and across the country to Closter, N. J., on the Hudson. He had 
strong posts at Sydman's bridge, Siiflfem and Tappan. Clinton's head- 
quarters were for a time at Suffern, which was a strategical point of great 
importance. The road down the long cloves from Newburgh here met 
the great military road to King's Ferry, over which route troops and 
wagon trains were constantly passing. It was a door of communication 
letween AVashington's army and New England, between Boston and 
Pliiladclphia, between the colonies north and the colonies south. Upon 
Colonel Hay, the indefatigable commissary and militia commander at 
Haverstraw, reposed the duty of keeping Clinton's forces supplied with 
provisions. The material resources of the colonies not being large, he 
\\as often sorely tried. A large share of the siipplies came to him by 
way of King's Ferry, the east landing place of which was at the end of 
Ver])lanck's Point, and the western landing in the cove on the north side 
of Stony Point. The river here is narrow, and besides it was the first 
crossing place north of New York accessible to the Americans. General 
Clinton's men spent the ensuing weeks in huts, and in the banis and 
houses of the inhabitants. Clinton had hard work to keep the men 
together, not that they were disloyal or cowardly, but your militiaman 
of "70 considered himself his own master; and when he could not per- 
ceive the necessity of remaining on duty longer, and calls from home 
were pressing, he was disposed to leave the ranks and return to his fanu 
and family. I>ater in the war a sterner discipline and a better system 
of military organization were enforced. After the news from Trenton 
and Princeton, and the winter having set in, causing suspension of opera- 
tions., the militiamen of Orange and Ulster were permitted to return 
home. 



References: American Archives. Journal of the Provincia.1 Congress. 
Clinton Papers. 



110 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE FALL OF THE HIGHL\JMD FORTS. 
Re-Appearance of the Enemy in tbe Spring- — Militia Called Out — Reluc- 
tant to Obey — British Plans — Sir Henry Clinton's Armada Arrives — Putnam 
Dec&ived and Goveirnor Clinton Overwhelmed^Heroic Resistance by the Sons 
of Orang-e and Ulster. 

THE siiccesses at Trenton and Princeton refreshed the cause of lib- 
erty and a re\'ived hope made the rigors of the remaining \\nnter 
months for Washington's army at Momstown more bearable. 
The British were impounded at Amboy and New Brunswick, on the 
Raritan. Their forces were snfHcient to have driven the shattered 
American army out of New Jersey, but orders were wanting. Com- 
wallis was in command at New Brunswick, and Vaughan at Amboy, but 
their commandei--in-chief was diverting himself in New York city vAth. 
various pleasures that appealed to his nature. Howe, viewing the 
results of the campaign of 1776, was disposed to rest satisfied for awhile. 
He had subjected our Continental line to a long series of disasters. Stat- 
cn Island, Long Island, Manhattan Island and Rhode Island were in 
his possession; Connecticut had virtually concluded that the war was 
over; the lower Hiidson, with Westchester county and the State of New 
Jersey, was at his mercy. Only Orange county, with its passes fortified 
and manned, had not yielded an inch. England's squadrons had not 
attempted to pass our Highland forts; her troops had not ventured to 
make the circuit of the mountains through the narrow defile where the 
marksmen of Orange and Ulster stood guard. Orange, the buffer 
county, with Ulster at her back, stood ever firm and true, while West- 
chester and others faltered. Though General George Clinton was per- 
mitted to spend a part of the winter at home, his vigilance never relaxed ; 
his sentinels and guards were never entirely withdrawn from the Ram- 
apo valley and the river shore. The work on the defences of the High- 
lands of the Hudson went on through the winter, but progress was e.\as- 
peratingly slow, owing not to indisposition — but rather to the scarcity 
of financial means and mechanical facilities. The principal work now 
in liand was in connection with the obstruction between Plum point and 
Polopel's island. Lieut. -Colonel Johannes Da\ad Blauvelt, who had 
commanded the Orangetown battalion since Colonel Lent resigned, ten- 



THE FALL OF THE HIGHLAND FORTS. Ill 

dcrcMl liis own resignation March 1, 1777, and Major Johannes Joseph 
Blauvelt was by General George Clinton appointed to succeed him. 
Later the organization was merged into the Haverstraw regiment. 

With the opening of navigation, Britisli sliips came again up the 
ri\'er. On March 22, 1777, a twenty-gun frigate and two galleys, con- 
voying four large transports filled with troops, anchored in Haverstraw 
Bay, off Croton Point. Tlie next day at noon a thousand redcoats under 
Colonel Bird landed at Peekskill, and caused the destruction of all the 
American magazines, ban-acks and store-houses that liad been erected at 
the place, with a large quantity of provisions, military stores, clothing 
and accoutrements. They retired without the loss of a man. General 
McDougall, not having numbers sufficient to oppose them with a prob- 
ability of success, removed the greater jjart of tlie stores, and himself set 
fire to the rest. He then, leaving the enemy unopposed, retreated to 
Fort Independence, about ten miles distant. The British wore greatly 
disappointed in not securing tlie stores. 

A severe blow, swiftly and unexpectedly delivered, this misfortune 
greatly disheartened as well as alarmed the patriots. As it was evidently 
the design of the enemy to distress and plunder the shore, rather than 
make any attempt to pass the forts. Colonel Hay, having now less than 
a hundred men to protect the ferry and the bay shore, appealed to Cu^n- 
eral Clinton for reinforcements, and received an answer, saying: "In 
consequence of the beacon being fired at Fort Constitution yesterday, 
about four in the afternoon, I issued orders to Colonels Woodliull's 
(Cornwall), !McClaughry's (New Windsor) and Ilasbrouck's (Newburgh) 
regiments to inarch immediately, the two first to reinforce the garrison 
at this place, the latter to Fort Constitution, a part of which may be 
expected in this evening, and I arrived here about three o'clock this 
morning myself. Until the above regiment arrive we cannot possibly 
spare any men from this, as it is a post of the utmost consequence; but 
you may rest assured we will give you every aid and protection in our 
power the moment a reinforcement arrives, and let me beseech you in 
the meantime to call out your regiment and inspirit tlicm to make a 
proper defence should the enemy attempt anytliing against you." The 
militia of Southern Orange received the call to arms in no kindly spirit. 
The major of the Haverstraw regiment publicly declared that if the men 
were to be harassed as last year, he would give up the cause. Colonel 
Hay, desiring to station a company at King-'s FeiTy, could not prevail 



112 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

on men to stay, as tlicy said they must go home and protect their prop- 
erty, as Colonel Pawling had arrived with all his troops from below and 
left that district exposed. This was the first time that Hay's men had 
ever really failed him. 

Clinton eonnseled with his field officers and called out one-third of 
the militia of Orange and Ulster, including exempts, the total nimiber 
alfected being about twelve hundred. Three regiments were formed 
from the levy, two from Ulster, under Colonel Pawling and Colonel 
Snyder, and one from Orange, which Colonel Hawthorne was a.ssigned 
to command. The Orange regiment was directed to take post in Kam- 
apo clove, and the two Ulster regiments were sent to Fort Montgomery 
and Fort Clinton. Dutchess county was a few days later ordered to 
forward two companies to Fort Independence. Nothing could be 
expected from Westchester, that county being full of Tories, who gave 
valuable aid and encouragement to the British. The number of avail- 
able militiamen there was less than one himdred. 

But it was one thing to call out the citizen soldiers, and another to 
make them come, and yet another matter to induce them to stay. Gen- 
eral George Clinton once remarked, "Before we are out a week we lose 
our men, and of course we have supernumerary officers and mixst dis- 
charge them, which can't always be done without giving offence." 

The force required in this emergency was slow in coming, though it 
was generally understood the enemy was contemplating an attack in 
large force. Not only had the squadron, now lying in the Tappan Zee, 
off Sneeden's Landing, been reinforced, but a fleet of twenty-two sail had 
been concentrated off Fort Washington, with many troops aboard. 
Major Johannes Joseph Blauvelt of Orangetown infonned the General 
tliat, though the captains in his command had several times called their 
(companies out, many of the men had not come, and some who had 
responded brought no arms. "Indeed, matters are come to such a 
height," said Major Blauvelt, "that they who are friends of the Amer- 
ican cause must for their own safety be cautious how they speak in 
public, for I make no doubt we have often spies among us. If accounts 
we have received from different quarters may be depended on, soine of 
those Avho have been active in favor of our cause may be carried down 
to New York." 

On the 25th of April the King's fleet, which had concentrated at Fort 
Washington, moved up the river, and joined the ships that were wait- 



THE FALL OF THE HIGHLAND FORTS. 113 

ing off Sneedcn's Landing. Wliilc Washington was urging Clinton to 
get all tlie men possible, the commander of the Highland district was 
receiving returns from regimental officers that their men had not 
responded adequately to the call. Colonel Cooper of the Orange county 
regiment reported from the Ramapo pass that he had been able to raise 
only 259. Ninety-six of these he had posted at Nyack, under Captain 
Onderdonk, Captain Gardiner and Captain Bertliolf. Clinton was not 
intimidated by the threatening demeanor of the fleet. He made the 
most of what he had to fight with and was ready. "I don't fear but what 
we shall give a good account," he said. The expected attack did not 
come; either the fleet was deterred by the foi-midable fortifications, or 
the movement was only a feint, made for the purpose of annoying the 
Americans and compelling them to demonstrate the strength they were 
capable of putting fortli. On May fir.st the expedition returned to New 
York. 

The real onset came in October. On the part of the British it was 
a long contemplated and elaborately planned series of movements, an 
instructive example in grand tactics. Three simultaneous campaigns 
were arranged for, to be prosecuted in three different sections of the 
country, but all intended to accomplish one great end — the conquest of 
the Hudson. The first part of the general plan was Howe's combined 
military and naval expedition against Philadelphia, the chief purpose 
of which was to draw Washington away from the Highlands with all the 
troojib that could possibly be spared from this quarter. The design was 
most successfully accomplished. Governor Clinton was left with only 
a handful to garrison the forts, and the consummate strategy of the 
enemy also served, as will appear, to hold off Putnam, who was posted 
on the east shore with fifteen hundred men. But strategy alone could 
not have availed without overwhelming strength. Sir Henry 
Clinton's dash up the Hudson was the second part, and the long and 
unsuccessful marches of Burgoyne and St. Leger constituted the third 
section of the great strategic plan evolved by the AYar office in London. 
The armies from Canada were stopped, but Sir Henry Clinton got 
through. Why England did not take full advantage of the latter victory 
and retain possession of the river is one of the mysteries of the war. 
'J'he fortifications in the Highlands at this time consisted of Fort Mont- 
gojuery, with its boom and chain, and its immediate neighbor, Fort 
Clinton; the batteries opposite West Point called Fort Constitution, 



114 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

and Fort Independence, which was situated two miles above Peekskill. 
IS'o works had yet been constructed at West Point, Stony Point or Ver- 
planck's Point. Xorth of the Highlands was another line of obstruc- 
tions, consisting of a chivaux-de-frise and a protecting water battery. 
The chivanx-de-frisc extended from Phmi Point to Polopel's Island, and 
consisted of great cribs filled with stone and sunk in the river, holding iu 
position long iron-tipped spars. The points of the spars lay a few feet 
beneath the surface, at an angle, ready to rip open the first English 
frigate that should attempt to pass. It was a much more dangerous 
obstruction than the chivaux-de-frise the enemy had plunged through 
off Fort Washington. The defences were still in process of construction 
under the general supervision of Captain Thomas Machin, who had sup- 
ervised the erection of Fort Independence and Fort Clinton. 

The obstructions in the lower Highlands have already been 
described. They were practically complete at this crisis. The boom 
and chain, the stout cables, the line of anchored fire rafts, and some 
armed vessels of small tonnage, including the Congress, Montgomery, 
Lady Washington and Shark, were all in position. Everything was in 
readiness there but men. Calls for troops came from Washing-ton on 
the Delaware and from Schuj'ler on the upper Hudson. Clinton and 
Putnam greatly weakened their lines in responding to urgent apjx^als. 
Yet Clinton fvilly realized the probability of an expedition shooting up 
the river from Xew York. He understood that conditions as they 
existed in the Highlands were at all times well known in the city, the 
news being carried by Tories innumerable. The New England States 
were strangely supine. The few militia that Connecticut had sent were 
precipitate in rctiiming home at this critical period, leaving New York 
State to confront single-handed both Burgoyne's splendid army and the 
armada apprehended from New York. 

General Clinton (who was now the Governor of the new State) 
called out every man who could bear arms. Colonel Dubois's Conti- 
nentals had been at Fort Montgomery since Spring opened, constantly 
drilling at the guns or maneuvering in the mountain passes. Colonel 
McClaughry's regiment (formerly General James Clinton's), from Little 
Britain, was engaged in .similar exercises at Fort Clinton. Other reg- 
iments received orders to be ready to march at a moment's notice. Wash- 
ington, writing from Chester, Del., on August 5, intimated to Governor 
Clinton that he was convinced that the British designed an expedition 




MAJOK JOHN ANDKE. 



THE FALL OF THE HIGHLAND FORTS. US 

up the Hudson to meet Biirgoyue while his o^vn army was being held 
back by Howe. Eelay riders kept the Governor informed of the pro- 
gress of affairs at the north and in communication with American leaders 
elsewhere. 

As the news of the successive victories of the British invaders was 
received, the gloom deepened. When the report of Washington's mis- 
fortune on the Brandy^\'ine came, the Governor ordered eleven regiments 
to march immediately, six to join General Putnam at Peekskill, two to 
strengthen the garrison at Fort Montgomery, and three to report to ifc- 
Dougall at Ramapo. Every regiment of the State guard south of 
Kingston was now on duty. Others were not called for fear of depriv- 
ing the hard-preased northern army of that succor \vhich it had a right 
to expect, and which Gates was now appealing for. The six which 
joined Putnam belonged to Dutchess county. The Governor had called 
for half the strength of each, because he knew the whole could not be 
obtained. 

On the afternoon of October 4th Lieut. Gano, who had been down 
to Peekskill, hurried into Fort Clinton with the news that a British fleet 
had landed troops at Tarrytown. Immediately General James Clinton 
dispatched a courier to his brother, the Governor, at Little Britain. 
The Governor wrote back advising that alann gims be fired at the mo- 
ment it became apparent that the enemy's intentions were higher up. 

It was but a feint, the landing at Tarrytown, and the next morning 
at dawn even a larger armada than had stopped at Tarrytown was lying 
between the headlands of Stony Point and Verplanck's Point. With 
the reinforcements received during the night, the armament consisted 
of a dozen frigates headed by the Mercury, Tartar and Preston, a num- 
ber of sloops and transports, and fifty flat-bottomed boats, together with 
cbout four thousand soldiers. Before the sun was up that Sunday morn- 
ing several thousand men had been lauded at Verplanck's, where only 
a small American guard had been stationed. The landing was designed 
to impress IMajor-General Putnam and attract general attention to the 
east shore. Piitnam was completely deceived. Retreating inland, he 
left the forts to their fate, and Sir Henry Clinton had accomplished one 
part of his design. 

The Americans had no easy puzzle to decipher; who of us under the 
sx.nc circumstances could have foreseen where the blow would fall? 
The presence of so many troops and small boats was an indication that a 



116 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

land assault was contemplated. A naval bombardment was also to be 
expected from such a fonnidablc fleet. And would not Fort Inde- 
pendence be assailed first, being the most southerly? All that day and 
at night eyes and eai-s were alert for beacon fires and alarm guns. But 
the enemy remained quiet. Any threatening movement would have 
been detected by the vigilant shore guard. But, being apprehensive, 
the Governor had sent out a special scout, in the person of Major Logan, 
to report anything of importance, l^o word came from Putnam, the 
M a jor-G eneral commanding. 

When daylight appeared on Monday morning, the 6th, the valley 
was shrouded in fog. Human vision could no more penetrate the mist 
than the American mind could solve the mystery of British intentions. 
But as the morning advanced, the young New Windsor officer in his 
mountain eyrie eventually caught the sound of oars, and when certain 
that the enemy was landing in gTeat force at King's FeiTy he sprang 
away to inform his commander. Six or seven miles was the distance he 
had come by rough shortcuts when he entered the Governor's presence 
with the alarming intelligence. Lieut. Jackson was detailed with a 
small party to discover fiirther hostile movements. Two miles down 
the Haverstraw road they ran into the British vangiiard. After return- 
ing the fire that was opened on them, they hun-ied back to alarm the 
garrison. Biit Governor Clinton had heard the musketry and detached 
Lieut. -Colonel Bruyn with fifty men, and Colonel McClaughry with an 
equal number, to harass the advancing foe. Presently the guns of 
these trained wood rangers were heard sending messengers of death down 
the distant ravine. Their deadly execution stopped a long British col- 
iimn that was advancing on Fort Clinton. But another was reported 
coming along the Forest of Dean road to Fort Montgomery. The Gov- 
ernor, who commanded in person at Fort Montgomery, sent Colonel 
Lamb with a field piece and sixty men to confront this new danger. 
Sixty other Continentals he sent presently to support- the first sixty. His 
hope at this hoiir was to retard the enemy until he could got a reinforce- 
ment from General Putnam, to whom he had sent for help at the first 
alann. But the messenger turned traitor in this extremity; the mes- 
sage was never delivered. 

( Vlonel Lamb wheeled his gim in the face of the on-coming Tories 
and ploughed their ranks with gi-apeshot, while his supports poured in 
a l(>aden hail from the sides. Shrieks mingled with the deafening crash 



THE FALL OF THE HIGHLAND FORTS. 117 

of arms. The assailants fell back in dismay, leaving many dead and 
W(jimded. They had begim to pay the fearful price wliich the daunt- 
less Americans demanded for their works. Again and again this col- 
inim was driven back by the well posted force from Fort Montgomerj', 
while the defenders of Fort Clinton, led by the intrepid General James 
I'liuton, were also standing firm. 

The fog had cleared away and each side perceived what it had to 
contend against. "Eight to one" were the odds George Clinton sup- 
posed, and as hour after hour passed with leaden heels, and Putnam not 
yet come, the little garrison still held their ground. The British fleet 
remained down the river out of range of the American batteries. A 
thousand E|ritish troops lay idle at Vei-planck's, satisfied with holding ofE 
Putnam. Fort Independence, several miles below, and Fort Constitu- 
lion, several miles above the scene of conflict, could not aid their 
beleagiired neighbors. Oif in the mountains wa telling the fray were 
belated militiamen unable to get in. The first success in the assault 
came to the British at two o'clock, nearly four hours after the beginning 
of the fight, when by a flanking movement to right and left in large 
numbers they almost suiTounded Colonel Lamb's men and obliged them 
to spike their guns and nin. At this crucial moment the Governor 
ordered out a twelve-pounder, which, being well served, stopped the for- 
eigners' nish. During the next three hours, however, the garrison was 
slowly driven back toward the fort. At five o'clock the noble fellows 
retreated inside. About this hour of the day Major-General Putnam 
began to come to a true comprehension of affairs, and was sending half 
his force to the riverside with orders to cross if they could. At any time 
that number added to the Governor's forces would have saved the forts. 
At five o'clock a British officer approached Fort Montgomery with a 
wliite flag, and the Governor sent Lieut.-Colonel Livingston, who was 
in the fort by accident, not belonging to any organization there, to ascer- 
tain the British message. The bearer of the flag, who said he was 
Lieut.-Colonel Campbell, demanded the surrender of the fort, to save 
the further effusion of blood. Livingston replied that he had no author- 
ity to treat, but if the British wished to surrender he could assure them 
of good treatment; and if they would not accept this offer they could 
renew the attack with a knowledge that the works would be defended 
to the last extremity. The battle, awful in its violence and ferocity, 
was continued until the shades of night fell, when the King's legions 



118 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

brol^e through into both forts, and the. Americans began to cut their 
way out. Tlie merciful mantle of darkness protected many in the last 
raoments, and assisted them to escape into the surrounding mountains or 
across the river. 

When the fate of the forts was sealed, the torch was applied to the 
tire rafts by their own guardians. This \tos an act justifiable under the 
circumstances, as with the capture of the forts they were certain to fall 
into the hands of the enemy. The spectacle was sublime. But the two 
frigates, the Congress and tJie Montgomeiy, were also destroyed by 
their crews, which was a proceeding greatly regretted by the nation at 
large. They had been built at Poughkcepsie, and with much difficulty 
inadequately armed and manned. Each carried ten guns. The Lady 
Wasliington and the Shark waited for a favorable wind and retreated up 
the river, the fonuer to Rondout creek, where later on she aided the 
shore batteries in giving battle to Vaughan's expedition. To save her 
from the British, the crew scuttled her in the creek. 

The British force which landed at King's Fen-y numbered twelve 
hundred men under the command of Gen. Sir John Vaughan and nine 
hundred under Lieut.-Colonel Campbell. Four hundred of Campbell's 
cohimn were comprised in a body of "Loyal Americans," under the 
notorious Colonel Beverly Eobinson, whose deserted residence was on 
the east shore of the Hudson, opposite West Point. Landing under the 
cover of the fog, the whole army took the road that led around tlie west 
side of the Dunderberg. When they an-ived after a long detour at the 
forks in the deep valley between the Dunderberg and Bear Mountain, 
Vaughan's division halted, while Campbell's continiied on around to the 
north side of Bear Mountain, to get in the rear of Fort Montgomery. 
W^hile waiting to hear Campbell's guns, Vaughan was attacked by the 
Ameiican scouts, and the long battle was begun. 

The splendid resistance of the Americans was the only consolation the 
young republic obtained for the destruction of defences that had cost a 
('uarter of a million dollars and two years of labor and devotion, not all 
of wliich could be paid for in money. General James Clinton was bay- 
oneted at his post, but escaped deatli and made his way home. The 
Governor dropped down the Heights unscratclicd, and from the beach 
stepped into a small boat which was with othere putting off for the east 
sliore. Colonel McClaughry, Major Logan, Colonel Allison and Col- 
onel AVoodhiill were captured, with many others. To tlie credit of the 



THE FALL, OF THE HIGHLAND FORTS. 119 

British be it said, tlicy fouglit fairly and stained tlieir viotoiy with no 
massacre. Tlie reinforcement from Pntnam an-ived on the opposite 
side of the river in time to see the forts taken and the torch applied to 
the shipping. Behind Fort Clinton was a pond, and between it and 
the river a neck of land that had been obstnicted with an abatis, which 
aided the garrison in retarding the advance of the foe. After the battle 
the bodies of several soldiers were fonnd in the lake, while others were 
left imburied on the land. The bones of the nnknown and unclaimed 
were in the course of the following months gathered up and burned. 

Such in brief is the story of the fall of Forts Clinton and Mont- 
gomery. Though not the only battle fought on the soil of Rockland 
count}', it was the most important. "The valor here displayed was 
exceeded by no other instance during the war," was the world-wide opin- 
ion. Xothing but overwhelming nmnbers gave the victory to Sir Henry 
Clinton. In the British columns were many Tories well acquainted 
with the topography of the district. Putnam has been blamed for the 
disaster, but only a force on each shore equal to the English total could 
have coimteraoted their strategy and I'epulsed their onset, and the 
marshaling of such numbers under the limitations of the age, the place 
and the population, was beyond the ability of the American people, and 
for that no man was responsible. 

The Fifth New York, commanded by Colonel Dubois, and Lamb's 
Artillery were the Continental troops engaged. The Fifth was raised in 
the counties of Orange and Ulster, and included Captain Amos Hiitchins' 
company from Haverstraw and other sections of Southern Orange. 
Other patriots from the same section were in Lamb's artillery and in 
some of the militia battalions. Walter King of Orangetown fought 
under Captain Humphrey, and though grievously wounded escaped 
through the dark woods to a mountain cottage, where he lay l)etween life 
and death for seven weeks, when returning strength enabled hun to get 
hoTne. The militia engaged consisted mainly of portions of Mc- 
Claughry's New Windsor regiment, Woodhull's of Cornwall, Allison's 
(^'oshen regiment, and a few of other commands. Hasbrouck's of New- 
burgli, though originally ordered to Fort ]\Iontgomery, was before the 
light transfeiTcd to Fort Cojistitution. Colonel Hay's battalion was not 
called to the forts, but was as usual on guard duty along the Haverstraw 
.shore. The number of men who defended the ramparts was about six 
hundred, and of these about two hundred were militiamen. Wliile it is 



120 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

apparent that the Continentals bore the greater weight of the fight, every 
man did his duty, and practically all were from the same section of 
country, now comprised in the counties of Orange and Rockland. Gov- 
ernor Clinton depended too much upon the ability or willingness of the 
militia to respond. While they had answered previous calls nobly, they 
failed in this instance. 

The watennen played an inconspicuoiis part. In the absence of any 
statement to the contrai-y, it is presumed they remained on their vessels 
and lired into the assailants of the garrison when a mark was presented. 
Sir Henry's fleet remained at anchor ofF Stony Point, except some small 
■vessels Avhicli at one time dunng the day came within range and received 
a furious fire from the batteries afloat and ashore. With the forts in 
tlicir jx)ssession, the British easily imfastened the chain and cables that 
obsti'ucted navigation. In the course of the next few days Sir Ilenr^^ 
Clinton took possession of Peekskill and massed the greater part, of his 
f I )rces there. Putnam ofi^ered no resistance and both Fort Independence 
and Fort Constitution were relinquished to the enemy. When the 
marauding expedition imder Vaughan and Wallace started up the river, 
their ships had a clear course, except at Polopel's Island, and here they 
ei titer found a gap in the chevaux-de-frise or made one. The battery on 
Plum Point was yet incomplete, and the few guns mounted rendered 
little or no service, owing to lack of ammunition. Governor Clinton 
collected the remnant of his troops at Little Britain, near Washing-ton 
Lake, and many recruits came to him as he pursued Vaughan to Kings- 
ton. The marauder did not remain long up the river after hearing of 
IJUrgO}^le's defeat. With his headquarters at Peekskill, Sir Henry 
C:iinton retained possession of the Highland forts for twenty days, when 
he abandoned and destroyed them, and returned with all his forces to 
IN'ew York. 



Kefe^rences: Olint.on Papers. Bea^-h's Hfet. Cornwall. "Provincial and 
Revolutionary Military Org-anizations" — Ruttenber. Uoynton'.s West Point. 
.Tones's New York. 



"THE FORT'S OUR OWN-" 121 



CHAPTER X. 

"THE FORT'S OUR OWN." 
New Defences in the Highlands — Massacre at. "Old Tappan — Petition from 
Citizens — Stony Point Seized by the British — Main Contineuit.al Army Arrives — 
Stony Point Stormed and Recaptured by Wayne's Light Infantry — The Battle 
Described — Fate of the Lady Washing-ton — The Fort Abandoned by the Ameri- 
cans — Evacuated by the British. 

EARLY the follo\ving year, 1778, the Americans began anew to erect 
fortifications in the Highlands. West Point was chosen as the 
place for the principal works. Forts, batteries and redoubts snc- 
cessively appeared, rising in tiers from the water's edge to the crown of 
Mount Independence, where Fort Pntnam stood overlooking all and 
protecting the rear. Fort Arnold (afterwards Fort Clinton) on the edge 
of the plain commanded a wide sweep of the river, and at every position 
where a foe might appear great gnns looked threateningly through em- 
brasures. The river was crossed by a massive chain and boom. The 
links for the chain were forged at the Sterling Ironworks, carted to Brew- 
stei''s forge at Moodna and there fitted together. Their average length 
was a little over two feet, and the thickness of the iron two and a half 
inches. They were floated down the river and arranged in position by 
Cajitain Machin. Their total weight was 180 tons. When complete the 
chain stretched across the river at its naiTowest part in connection with 
a boom of heavy logs. Two years were spent in building the fortifica- 
tions, and so extensive and formidable were they that West Point was 
often referred to as the "American Gibraltar." Stony Point and Ver- 
jjlanck's Point, thirteen miles south, were recognized by the strategists 
of the day as positions of much importance, but not of a nature to be 
successfully defended against a strong assault by either land or water. 
Notwithstanding their admitted vulnerableness, some defences were 
reared on the headlands in 1778, to serve as outposts for West Point and 
at the same time give some protection to King's Ferry. 

The scene of conflict was for the most part transferred from New 
York State during the year 1778. The leading events in general his- 
tory were the evacuation of Philadelphia by the British, June 18, fol- 
lowed by the battle of Monmouth ten days later, the arrival of the 
French fleet under Coimt d'Estaing and the massacres of Wyoming and 



122 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Clicrry Valley. The guards along the west shore of the Tappan Zee 
and in the Raniapo valley discharged their usual ardiious duties. 
Colonel Hay at Ilaverstraw was tireless in receiving and fonvarding sup- 
plies. King's Ferry was not molested. 

The year, however, did not pass without blood being shed in this sec- 
tion. The end of September found Lord Cornwallis ^vith a large detach- 
ment of the British army occupying the country between Hackensack, 
^. J., and the Hudson river for a strategical purpose. General Kny- 
phausen at the same time with another part of the army was in the 
county of Westchester opposite his Lordship, having the Hudson on his 
left, the Bronx on his right. A war fleet, with a large number of flat-bot- 
tomed boats, was anchored in the Hudson opposite the two encampments, 
so that if Washington, whose headquarters was at White Plains, should 
think proper to attack either wing, the other might be instantly trans- 
ferred to its assistance. Washington, however, was detennined to put 
nothing to the risk. Information coming to Cornwallis that an Ameri- 
can battalion lately arrived from Virginia and commanded by Col. Bay- 
lor, a young Virginian of reputable family and large estate, was quar- 
tered three miles southwest of Tappan, he sent General Grey with twelve 
companies on the night of the 27th to surprise it. Baylor's troops were 
designated as "Mrs. AVashington's Own," because of their being from 
Virginia. They were serving that night as an advance guard for a bri- 
gade of the American army under Wayne, who with the main body \vas 
at Orangeburgh. But we have stated only part of the British design. 
It was their hope to capture or annihilate Wayne's brigade, as well as the 
Virginia Light Dragoons. In combination with Grey's column, there- 
fore, another was sent out by General Kuj^ihausen, from the east shore 
of the river, to cross at Dobbs Ferry and get into the rear of Wayne. 
Tlie enemy's Tory guides knew the roads as well, if not better, than the 
Continental soldiers. Grey's camp was some miles distant from where 
Baylor's troops were quartered. The Virginians having posted a few 
pickets, these were cut off and silenced by Grey's advance guard at 2 
o'clock in the morning. Baylor and his staff were at the house of Cor- 
nelius A. Haring, and the rest in the houses and barns of the Blauvelts, 
Demarests, Harings, Bogarts and Holdrinns. The total numlicr of dra- 
goons was one hundred and sixteen. 

The British wth fixed bayonets broke into the houses and barns, and 
before the Virginians could have recourse to their amis, many were mas- 



"THE FORT'S OUR OWN-" 123 

sacred in cold blood. General Grey's inhuman orders were to "stab all 
and take no prisoners." Men were bayoneted and brained after they liad 
siu'rendered. With shameless brutality the King's swift and silent butch- 
ers ran from bam to bam on their mission of blood. Some of theii- vic- 
tims recei'S'ed as many as ten, some twelve homble thrusts through their 
bodies. One English captain disobeyed orders and refrained from stab- 
bing those who surrendered. When Grey departed he left eleven dead 
and seventeen dying Virginians, and took away thirty-nine prisonei-s. 
Tlie rest of Baylor's men escaped by flight or concealment, but not all 
v.ithout terrible wounds. A merciful mind must shudder at the bare 
mention of so inhuman a deed. It was not war but crime, and of the 
deepest dye. General Wayne's brigade, fortunately warned in season, 
escaped the clutches of Knyphausen's column. 

On hearing the next morning of this shocking affair, Col. Hay called 
out liis regiment and marched a few miles into New Jersey, but finding 
ihiit he had Comwallis's army to contend with he returned to Clarks- 
town and sent to Gov. Clinton for reinforcements. Captain Bell's com- 
pany of Colonel Graham's regiment was ordered from New Jersey to 
join Hay for the defence and protection of the inhabitants of the south- 
ern part of the county. Bell's company had recently been fonned out 
of the Ilaverstraw and Orangetown militia. Regiments from other parts 
of Orange county were also ordered to the scene by the Governor, and 
Washing-ton sent over to New City Woodford's brigade of 700, who 
after a few days were drawn off to New Jersey. Hathom's and Marvin's 
militia regiments, which came at the Governor's order, likewise remained 
but a little while, much to the regret of the patriotic inhabitants. 

From a numerously signed petition to the Governor for assistance, 
dated October 18, 1778, it appears that the British marauders, after 
butchering Baylor's dragoons, turned their cruelties against women and 
old men, "whom they ti-eated with every kind of brutality their pei-fidi- 
ousness could invent, and from thence extended their depredations to 
witJiin a quarter of a mile of Clarkstown, and have continued every day 
since to display in and about the State the most wanton scenes of cruel- 
ty." The names attached to the petition are reproduced here to record 
who were citizens in the exposed quarter: 

Andris Onderdonk, Johannes Blauvelt, Thomas Blauvelt, Abraham 
Blauvelt, Uyldrick Blaiivelt, Cornelius Blauvelt, Derick Vanderbilt, 
Daniel Martine, Johannis Vandcrbielt, David Smith, John Coleman, 



124 HISTORY OF ROCKL,AND COUNTY. 

"William Sickels, Walter Van Orden, Jacob Onderdonk, Johannis 
Blaiivelt, Abraham Blauvelt, David Pye, Jacob Cole, J. P.; G. Jones 
John Stagg, Sr., John Farrand, John D. Haring, Wm. Heyer, Martines 
Hogencamp, Abraham Lamatcr, Parent Xaugle, David Demeray, Yan 
Nagie, John J. Bogert, Richard Blauvelt, Thos. Creger, Andrew Thomp- 
son, James Emraens, Henry Broadwell, Ronlof Onderdonek, William 
Stephens, Wm. Stutt, John Paulhemeus, Ilendrick Polhamoiis, Joseph 
D. Clarck, Yohannes Nagel, Resalvert Striegansen, Gerret Onderdonek, 
John Montanye, Edward Sayler, James Quackinbush, Nicholas Cox, 
Isaac Blauvelt, Peter De Pue, Andris Onderdonek, Yohannes Meyer, 
Joseph Seaman, David Van Sickel, Aart Polhemus, Andrew Cole, 
Johannes J. Blauvelt, Capt. John Hoogland, David Van Houta, Joseph 
Johnson, John Hallsed, Stephen Campbell, Jacobus de Clerck Roger 
Osborn, Abram Derunder, Garrett Van Cleft, Abm. W. VanDeursen, 
Peter Vandervoort, Jacob King, William Nagel, William Christie, Cor- 
nelius Blaiivclt, John Tinkie, John Gardner, Daniel Haring, Jacobus 
Van Veelen, Tobies Derunder, John Blauvelt, Gilbert Hunt, John On- 
derdunck, Samuel Knapp, Wm. Conklin, Daniel Phillips, Eli Phillips, 
Gibbart Phillips, Richard Dickens, Cornelius Cooper, Ilendrick Dermi- 
der, Peter Cnim, Gilbert Williams, Rulof Stephens, John Stagg, John 
Conkling, Joseph Conkling, Francis Gurnee, Lukus Degi'aw, Edward 
Smith, John Smith, John Campbell, A. L. Haring, John Meyer, Johan- 
nes VanDalfsen, Cornelius C. Roosevelt, Jacob Arden, Jr., John Suf- 
fer n. 

During the first week of December the appearance of a fleet of twen- 
ty-si.x sail off aSTyack was an occasion for alarm, and for movements by 
Continental troops. Five hundred Pennsylvanians were ordered to cross 
from Peekskill to Haverstraw, and Nixon's brigade was directed to the 
same place. On Friday the British landed at Tarrytowm, and after 
gathering up such provisons as they coiild find, re-embarked and came on 
lip the river to the head of Haverstraw bay, anchoring at 9 a. m. At 
eleven they landed fifteen himdred men at King's Ferry (west side), 
in the expectation of capturing stores, but these had been removed in 
time to save them. The American post at the ferry could offer no resist- 
ance to such numbers, and the guard retired. At three o'clock Nixon's 
brigade advanced to attack the British at tlie fen-y, but the redcoats 
fled back to their ships and set sail down the river. They had simply 







« 






Xl 


•^, 


*iM 




^m 


1 


V^*\ 




^smm.. 



JOSHUA UETT SMITH. 



"THK FORT'S OUR OWN." 125 

come on a foraging expedition. Provisions were scarce around New 
York city, or clsewliore. That winter, wheat could not be had for less 
than sixteen dollars per bushel, and other necessaries were proportion- 
ately high. 

When the spring of 1779 (the middle year of the war) opened, Wash- 
ington's main Continental army, consisting at that time of regiments 
from the Middle and Southern States, was in winter quarters at Middle- 
brook, N. J., a feAV miles north of Bound Brook, where the men had 
fared much better than at Valley Forge the year before. West Point 
was garrisoned Avith Paterson's brigade of Continentals. Major-General 
McDougall \vas at Peekskill, Gates at Providence. Sir Henry Clinton 
proposed to force Washington to fight, preferably somewhere in the 
open. The strength of the British anny at New York was thirteen 
thousand. An advance on Middlebrook would only compel Washing- 
ton to retreat farther away, while it would subject Clinton's commu- 
nications to inten-uption and leave New York in danger. Indeed, in 
pursuing Washington Clinton feared he might meet the fate of Bur- 
goyne. He would try, then, to draw the American coramander-in-chit^f 
out of the Jerseys, rather than drive him farther in. A movement 
threatening West Point, "the key to the continent," might have the effect 
of drawing him into a position where he coTild be dealt with decisively. 
Sir Henry, however, as he aftenvard acknowledged, had no idea of 
attacking West Point. 

The first movement in the prosecution of this plan was the seizure of 
Stony and Verplanck Points. As usual in British excursions up the 
Hudson valley, this was a combined naval and militarj' expedition. The 
ships and transports, numbering altogether about seventy sail, Avith 
many small boats, moved up to Yonkers on Sunday, May 30 (1779), 
and there took on board four thousand troops, under General Vaughan. 
The same day they sailed for Haverstraw bay, with Sir Henry Clinton 
commanding in pei-son, and all had an-ived by Monday noon, anchoring 
out of range of the guns of Verplanck's. The guard at Stony Point on 
discovering the fleet, began to draw off the military stores they had in 
charge. A part of the army under Vaughan landed on the ea.st shore, 
and the rest, under Clinton, sailed farther up and then landed, about 
four o'clock, three miles below Stony Point, at Haverstraw village. The 
peoi>le fled, but some of Colonel ITay's militia and other troops drew 
up at a distance, but not in force sufficient to offer resistance. As Clin- 



126 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

ton's corps advanced leisurely in the direction of the Point, the Ameri- 
can company stationed there applied the torch to the block house and 
other structures and fell back to the mainland, and then into the moun- 
tains. 

Meanwhile some British ships were bombarding Fort Lafayette, at 
A^erplanck's, and receiving a fire in return. Sir Henry continued on 
around, with nothing to oppose him, and took possession of the heights. 
The night was spent in landing guns from the ships and drawing them 
up the steep sides of tlie promontory, a work of gi-eat difflculty. Fifty- 
eight men in harness, besides many tugging at the wheels, were hardly 
able to get up the heavy twelve-pounder. 

By five o'clock in the morning batteries had been prepared and 
opened ag-ainst Verplanck's. The distance between the points, fifteen 
hundred yards, was found to be too great for all except three pieces, a 
ten-inch mortar, an eiglit-inch howitzer and the heavy twelve-pounder. 
General Pattison was in command of the artillery. The commander- 
in-chief came ashore to watch the bombardment, to which some of the 
sliips also contributed. The three guns of the barbette battery on Ver- 
planck's answered with spirit, but the shots directed at Stony Point gen- 
erally passed over head. At noon Vaughan's coi-ps appeared in sight 
behind the fort, and the Vulture being stationed on the north side and 
other ships to the south, escape was cut off for Captain Annstrong and 
his company of seventy-five North Carolinians. Captain (afterward 
]\lajor) Andre was then sent with a flag of truce to demand the surrender 
of the place, and the comraander deeming further resistance useless, 
permitted his colors to be lowered. 

During these two days the Havei-straw militia were harassing the 
rear of the British, but not doing much damage. On t^ie second day 
five hundred men set out from the Point to capture three hundred head 
of cattle that the Americans had driven into the country. The militia 
made the journey fruitless and unpleasant by driving the cattle out of 
reach and peppering the flanks all the way. Under Sir Henry Clinton's 
orders, the engineers and artillerists set about to make Stony Point as 
strong as possible. In the course of the next fortnight seven more 
facine batteries, nearly all facing inland, were completed, mounting 
twenty-four guns. 

When Washington heard of Sir Henry Clinton's departure from 
New York he immediately (May 30) put his army in motion and June 



"THE FORT'S OUR OWN." 127 

(ith passed Tuxedo Lake and entered the Eaniapo valley. On the fol- 
lowing- day the Virginia division went into camp near the present New- 
bnrgh Junction, the Pennsylvanians five miles beyond, in Smith's Clove, 
"Widow Ambrose's," at the junction of the road to Fort Montgomery', 
and the iMaryland division encamped between them. From these posi- 
tions Washing-ton's forces could reach the Hudson by several different 
routes in short order and in the most eflfective manner. He could find 
the shore either at Haverstraw, Fort ilontgomery or Cornwall. There 
was even a possibility of catching Sir Henry in a trap, if lie should ven- 
ture higher or come looking for Washington in this valley. It was the 
general American hope, as it was the English fear, that he would be 
"Burgoyned." The Amei'ican Continentals and militia in the river 
counties were also moving into strategical positions on the west and east 
shores, in anticipation of an attack on West Point, which was the osten- 
sible ultimate object of the offensive campaign. Washington resisted 
the temptation to retaliate at this time, though the army keenly felt the 
loss of the facilities which King's Ferry had afforded. It was a deep 
game and Sir Henry Clinton's turn to play again. 

The fort at Stony Point had a garrison of 750 infantry, besides a 
company of artillery. It was commanded by Lieut.-Colonel Johnson. 
Extensive fortifications had also appeared at Verplanck's. While the 
works were building, marauders overran nearly the whole county of 
Westchester. Lea^^ng• the gai-rison and one ship, the Vulture, at 
King's Ferry, the British commander-in-chief returned with the rest of 
his naval and military forces to New York, from whence he sent Gen- 
eral Tryon and Commodore Collier on a plundering expedition through 
Connecticut. The secret but unsuccessful purpose of the devastation 
of property was to draw Washington and his main army to that quarter. 

By the first of July Washington had moved his lieadquartei-s from 
Smith's Clove to the Ellison house on the river shore in New Windsor 
village, which, since the closing of King's Ferry to the Americans, had 
become an important transfer point. The main Continental army, now 
numbering about ten thousand men, occupied these positions: The 
center, at West Point, where McDougall was in command, with three 
brigades of Massachusetts and North Carolina troops; the left wing, 
under General Heath, and composed of Massachusetts and Connecticut 
divisions, at Garrisons, on the east side of the river; the right, consti- 
tuted by the Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania brigades heretofore 



128 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

mentioned, and now commanded by General Putnam, wcrc in Smith's 
Clove and at the Forest of Dean Mines. 

At this time General Anthony "Wayne was called from his home at 
Chester, Pa., and assigned to the command of the"Light Infantry 
Corps," the members of which, fonr battalions, had been posted on the 
plateau on the west bank of the ris'er, north of and near Port IMont- 
gomery. It was an organization new to the army, and popularly con- 
sidered the "crack" corps, but by Washington intended for a special 
pui-pose, the nature of which he intimated to its energetic and daring 
commander at the outset. Washington considered that while the enemy 
were making excursions to distress the country, it had a very disagi-ee- 
able aspect for him to remain in a state of inactivity. The reputation 
of the army and the good of the service seemed to exact some enterprise 
on his part. The importance of Stony Point to the enemy made it 
desirable that this defiant promontory should be the object. 

To that end he instructed Wayne to gain all the information he 
could concerning the nature, situation and strength of the British works, 
and the Pennsylvania general, whom some people delighted to call 
"mad," M'ent the next day (July 2), in company with two of his officers, 
Colonel Butler and Major Stewart, to reconnoitre the situation of the 
works'. In his report to his superior lie minutely described the bat- 
teries, the abatis and the topographical features, and remarked that the 
position was so fonnidable that "a storm" would be impracticable, but 
perhaps "a surprise" might be effected. This was but the firet of a 
series of inspections by Wayne. The matter was most carefully con- 
sidered by Washington, who himself on at least one occasion went -with 
Wayne to examine the position and approaches. So thorough was 
tlieir preliminary calculations, it is conceivable that everything in tactics 
which transpired at the assault had been pliotographed in advance by 
tlieir imagination. This is evident from the remarkable letter of final 
instructions which Washington sent to Wayne on the 10th and from 
Wayne's "Order of Biattle." At least one officer unknown to AVayne 
made an observation at the instance of Washington. ^lajor HaiTy Lee's 
legion of troopers and riflemen lurked in the mountain behind the prom- 
ontory or peered curiously down from the craggy sides of olil Dunder- 
berg, losing no opportunity to obtain information. Colonel Rufus 



"THE FORT'S OUR OWN." 129 

Putnam, an engineer of note, and then attached to the Light Infantry- 
Corps, perched himself on a commanding knob and made careful sur- 
veys and sketches. 

Up at Wayne's camp a magnificent body of infantry was being fash- 
ioned with enthusiasm. The inspiration for it had come from abroad, 
but American genius was improving on the original pattern. In 
European armies there were brigades of special construction and excep- 
tional quality to which it was esteemed a high honor to belong. Pride 
of corps was encoui-aged by elegance of uniform, a distinctive designa- 
tion and positions of honor — and danger. Napoleon's Guard was a 
later exemplification of the idea, but the American republic in modem 
times has not considered it advisable to follow the precedent. Wayne 
agreed with the sentiment that pride in a soldier was a substitute for 
almost every other virtue. He acknowledged that he was so much 
prejudiced in favor of an elegant unifomi that he would rather risk his 
life and reputation at the head of a well groomed brigade, even though 
it were provided with only one round of ammunition, than lead the 
same men when well armed but poorly clothed. "It may be a false idea, 
but I can't help cherishing it," he added. While Washington did not 
believe in making too great a difference between the Light Infantiy 
corps and the troops of the line, he promised a good siipply of clothing. 
The country was now too poor to furnish a gay outfit : a pair of overalls, 
two shirts, a hat, one blanket, and a pair of shoes per man, was the best 
that could be done at that moment for the ragged Continentals about 
to be rushed into the jaws of death.. 

The strength of the corps was augmented until it comprised four 
regiments of two battalions each, •^\ith four full companies to every bat- 
talion. The regimental commanders were : Pii-st, Colonel . Christian 
Pebiger; Second, Colonel Richard Butler; Third, Colonel Jonathan 
Meig-s; Fourth, Colonel Eufus Putnam. The battalion commandci-s 
were Lieut.-Colonel Pleury and Major Thomas Posey; Lieut.-Colonol 
Samuel Hay and Major John Stewart; Lieut.-Colonel Isaac Sherman 
and Acting Major Henry Champion; Major William Hull and Major 
Hardy Murfree. Every regiment then with the main Continental army 
was represented in the Light Infantry Coi-ps. SLx companies of Vir- 
ginians and two of Pennsylvanians composed the Pirst Regiment; four 
from the Pennsylvania line and four from the Maryland the Second; 



130 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

eight Connecticut companies made up the Third Eegiment, and six 
Massachusetts and two North Carolina companies constituted the 
Fourth. 

That such a corps became exceptionally proficient in tactics may 
rightfully be supposed. The personnel was probably unequalled any- 
where oiitside of the young republic. They would not have been Amer- 
ican soldiers of the line if other than men of the first order, inured to 
physical exertion, trained to accurate marksmanship and accustomed to 
field and forest. America never had to make excuses for her soldiei-s 
and sailors. 

Wayne was "a heaven-made general." So he was denominated by 
Sir Hem-y Clinton. He wa.s a native of Chester county. Pa., and at 
the outbreak of the war was engaged in tilling his ancestral acres. He 
had received a superior education and his services as a surveyor and con- 
veyancer were often in demand. He had also inherited from his father 
a tannery business with extensive connections. Besides being a man of 
substance and education, he was a figure in society. In an age when 
homespun simplicity was the nile, ilr. Wayne's fine broadcloth suit, 
laifiled wristbands and bosom, his jaunty three-cornered beaver and 
highly polished boots gave his graceful person no little distinction. 

The infantrymen knew they were not intended for an ornamental 
jmrpose. Their immediate duty as the van of the army was to be the 
first to meet an onset against West Point. It was well understood that 
Sir Henry Clinton might appear again at any moment with his great 
armament. "Whatever means the 'enemy may employ," ;i-emarked 
Bar-on Steuben one day to Washington, "I am positive that their opera- 
tions are directed exclusively to getting possession of this post and the 
river as far as Albany. If this is not their plan they have not got one 
which is worth the expense of a campaign. On their success depends 
the fate of America." 

Stony Point, strongly fortified and gamsoned, was a thoni in the 
American side. It hurt. As a matter of fact, it was a wedge driven 
into the most important line of American defenses. Another stroke 
might drive it farther. The British had great faith in the stronghold 
they had built. It was generally considered imprcgnal>le. An Amer-< 
ican captain who had to go to the fort with a flag of trace was twitted 
with the question if his people intended to stoi-m. "We will let you send 



"THE FORT'S OUR OWN." 131 

your best engineer to take a plan of the works before you attack," the 
p]nglishman added sarcastically. 

The little tongue of land was undeniably a hard proposition for the 
American military mind to consider. The King's men were more 
capable of defending it than the Continentals, for the reason that they 
were not required to pro\ade against a naval bombardment. Nearly 
all their batteries pointed landward, as the one side from which the 
enemy must approach if he came at all. The other three sides were 
inaccessible to the Americans. The garrison, nearly six hundred strong, 
consisted of the Seventeenth Regiment of Foot, the Grenadier company 
of the Seventy-first Regiment, a company of the Loyal Americans, and 
detachments of the Royal Regiment of Artillery and Volunteei's of 
Ireland. 

After examining the problem, Washington came to the conclusion 
that the assault should be made under cover of darkness, and mth the 
utmost secrecy. He favored a bayonet charge with unloaded muskets. 
Cold steel would be better than a shower of lead with much noise. He 
desired that the officers should be informed in advance what batteries or 
particular parts of the line they were respectively to seize. To avoid 
confusion and fatal mistakes in the darkness, every American shoiild 
wear a white cockade or other \-isiblc badge of distinction. The assault, 
he believed, should be made in three divisions, and secrecy was moi'o 
essential than numbers. Too much caution could not be used to conceal 
the intended enterprise from all but the principal officers until the 
moment of execution. As the usual time for such exploits was a little 
before daylight, and sentries were then more vigilant, Washington for 
that reason recommended a midnight hour. The main attack should 
proceed from the beach on the south side, and the darker the night the 
better. 

The views of Wayne and his field officers coincided with Washing- 
ton's in the main, but they suggested that as the troops would derive 
confidence from the reputation of numbers, it be given out that the 
whole Virginia line was to support the Light Infantry. 

Wayne's plan of operations, supplementing Washington's general 
instructions, specified a march around the Bear and Dnndcrbcrg moun- 
tains by existing roads or paths, to the rear of the Point, the identical 
route over which the British advanced two years previously to attack 



132 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

3'^ort Montgomery. There was a nearer way whicli cut off the long cir- 
cnit behind Bear Mountain, bnt tlie column might be exposed. The dis- 
tajice by the longer route was fourteen miles, and almost every mile 
rough and wearisome. In the final arrangements it was concluded not 
to use Colonel Rufus Putnam's entire regiment (the Fourth), and Major 
Hull's battalion on this occasion consisted of a detachment of the Mas- 
sachusetts line from West Point. Colonel Putnam did not participate 
in the adventiire, but remained at Fort Constitution, and Major Hull 
assumed command of what for the occasion was recognized as the Fomlh 
Ilegiment. 

The fifteenth of July was a hot and sultry day. Orders had been 
issued for a general review of the Light Infantry Coi-ps at Sandy Beach, 
two miles aboA'e Fort Montgomery. The men had been drilled by com- 
panies and battalions, but this was to be the first mobilization of the 
entire corps. It was an occasion of no little importance, and not a little 
rivalry was manifested. When, at twelve o'clock, the men found them- 
selves marching in a long column down toward Fort Montgomery, they 
may have considered the movement a part of the drill. But as they 
continued on and on, entering the mountains, some wonder must have 
been expressed. At Clement's fork, behind Bear Mounfain, whei'e they 
rested and ate their rations by the brookside, a glimmer of the trath 
may have passed from lip to lip; and when, on resvmiing the march, the 
column turned to the left, instead of keeping to the right, suspicion must 
have given place to conviction in their minds. The right-hand road 
would have taken them to the Forest of Dean Mines, but this led to 
— Stony Point. 

General AVayne timed the march so as to arrive at David Spring- 
steel's house, near the lower edge of the mountains, at eight. Captain 
McLean's rangers had protected the advance that far; they had arrested 
and detained all stragglers, they had posted guards at every house in 
the district to prevent exit, and made sure that no tale-bearer entered 
the fort. ISTot even a dog barked as the ranks silently came near the end 
of the arduous march. The English reported subsequently that our 
scouts had killed every dog in the vicinity. 

It was a beautiful summer eve; darkness was settlino- dovvii; the 
air was laden with the rich perfume of the season. At the brook the 
heroes qiTcnched tlieir thirst, ate their frugal ration and discussed in 



"THE FORT'S OUR OWN." 133 

Avhispers the business that had been assigned them. Unexpectedly called 
lo face death again, the solemn truant tliought and the quickened heart 
throb must have come even to these brave fellows in this still hour. 

Here in the vale, where tlie corps lingered for several hours, the 
orders of the night were read and explained. Every man learned what 
was for him to do, and was encouraged by the announcement that the 
whole Virginia line was coming behind, and that Captain Christie's 
Pennsylvanians were on picket duty in front. Wayne himself had 
gone on ahead for a final survey. Pieces of white paper were passed 
around, one for every hat, as Washington had commanded. When 
Wayne returned the dispositions were made and the last instnictions 
given. The corps, which had a strength of 1,150, was divided into 
thi'ee principal parts and each designated as a column. The leaders in 
each column had all been over the ground. The columns were desig- 
nated naturally as right, center and left, which corresponded to the 
places they were to each respectively assault. The riglit column would 
circle around and rush into the south side of the works, the left would 
execute its part on the north side, and the oolunm of the center advaucp 
as if for direct assault. 

The right column was arranged in thi'ee sections. First, a "forlorn 
hope" detachment of twenty picked men, Virginians and Pennsylva- 
nians, led by Lieut. Knox; next one hundred and thirty Virginians and 
Pennsylvanians, under Colonel Fleury, and finally the main body under 
Colonel Febiger, but with General Wayne commanding in person. 
Meig-s's Eegiment and Hull's Battalion were in this column. 

The left column, imder the general command of Colonel Butler, 
■was similarly arranged. The "forlorn hope" detachment was led by 
T.ieut. Gibbons. Then followed one hundred Maryland boys under 
Major Stewart, with Butler's Eegiment close behind. 

The third column consisted of Major Murfree's two companies of 
Isort.h Carolinians. 

Captain Benjamin Fishborne and Captain Henry Archer were aids 
to General Wayne. The orders were for the "forlorn-hope" men to deal 
with the sentries and make an opening in the abatis for the column to 
pass through. The moment the riish lines succeeded in getting inside 
the works they were to set up a shout, "The fort's our own!" Until 
tlien silence must rule. The honor of leading the "forlorn hopes" was 



134 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY, 

awarded by lot. A bounty of five liimdred dollars with immediate pro- 
motion was oiTered as a prize for tlu.^ first man who entered the works, 
with $400 for the second; $300 for third; $200 for the fourth, and $100 
to the fifth. The main attack was to be from the south, and the cen- 
tral assault in the nature of a feint, designed to draw the enemy to the 
causeway and leave the flanks and rear exposed. The North Carolinians 
in making their demonstration over the usually traveled road were to 
use firearms, hut the other columns were to rely on silence and the bay- 
onet. The preparations were all finished at eleven, and General Wayne 
sat down to express his thoughts of the moment to a dear friend. His 
concluding words were: "I am called to sup, but where to breakfast — 
either within the enemy's lines in triumph, or in another world." 

At half-past eleven came the order to advance. The distance from 
Spring-steel's to the marsh which separated the promontory from the 
mainland was a mile and a half, and thirty minutes was the time allowed 
for reaching there. The column led by Wayne passed around and 
through where the village is now, and the one under Butler followed a 
farm lane to the northerly side. The !North Carolina companies kept 
on down the direct road to the edge of the marsh, where they waited 
until the moment came to open fire. 

A few words about the leaders. Knox and Gibbons, who led the 
"forlorn hojies,"' were young Pennsylvanians. Lieut.-Colonel Fleury 
was a gallant Frenchman; Major "Jack" Stewart, a jaunty Marylander; 
Colonel Ckristian Febiger, popularly called "Old Denmark," was, like 
Fleury, a soldier of fortune, and hail won liis spurs at Bunker Hill and 
Quebec. Major Thomas Posey of Virginia rose to be a Major-General 
in the war of 1S12, and was the second Governor of Indiana. Colonel 
Meigs had served under Montgomery at Quebec. Lieut.-Colonel Sher- 
man had fought at Trenton and Princeton. The reason why no New 
York, New Jersey, Rhode Island or New Hampshire troops were pres- 
ent this night was that they were fighting with S\illivau against the Six 
Nations. 

Stony Point was a black and forbidding forni dimly outlined in the 
darkness. The tide was yet high when Wayne's column stole cautiously 
down to the beach. Water covered the sands, and there was no other 
way than through it. Two hundred yards distant crouched the lion-like 
fortress. The first splash in the water would mean discovery. "For 



"THE FORT'S OUR OWN." 135 

ward!" Knox and his gallant twenty led the way into the water. A 
shot rang out from the Bi-itish picket line. "To arms!'' was the cry 
that came across the water. The cohimn waded on with gims a-shoul- 
der, aiming to strike the side of the j^eninsula beliind the double row of 
abatis that extended across the front of the works from the water's edge. 
The British were running to their batteries, breastworks and redoubts. 
Just then came a crash of miisketry and shouts on their immediate front. 
The North Carolinians had begun to "amuse" themselves. The Biitish 
batteries opened and a torrent of gi'apeshot and shell belched across the 
morass. The head of the right column was now directly under the fort. 
The increasing fire from the embrasures above passed mostly overhead. 
The feint on the front was of the greatest help to the Americans in draw- 
ing the enemy's fire in that direction. As the pioneers and rushers 
struck the almost perpendicular bank, Lieut-Colonel Fleury left liis 
position in line, ran ahead of the "Twenty," and came up even with 
Knox. General Wayne had been marching beside Colonel Febigcr, 
but before they came to the morass he ordered the Colonel down the 
flank to reiterate his orders about not firing. But "Old Denmark" hur- 
riel forward again, and was not far from the front when the charge up 
the hill began. "Come on; we defy you!" cried angTy voices from 
above. "We'll be with you in a minute," was the American retort. 

Until now the marching order had been well maintained; not a shot 
had been fired or a loud word spoken in the column on the right. Fear 
had departed; victory, rewards and promotion were in sight; the strife 
now was to get there first. The start was scarcely a fair one; Fleury 
and Knox had the lead of Skelton, Febiger, Posey, Meigs, Hill, Sher- 
man, Lawson, McDowell and Hay, whose names stajid out on history's 
page, and who necessarily had to keep their places in the line. The 
first line of abatis was turned by most of the troops, but the second was 
in the way and had to be chopped tlarough, torn open or surmounted. 

The pioneers made a small opening, rushed on, and all poured 
through the sally port and over the parapet. Fleury climbed a bas- 
tion and was the first man in, and the fii-st to shout, in broken English, 
"The fort's our own!" Knox was right at his heels. Sergeant Baker 
of Virginia, bleeding from four wounds, was the third to enter. Sergt. 
Spencer, also a Virginian, and wounded, was the fourth, Sergt. Dunlop 
of Pennsylvania the fifth. Five voices united in the cry, "The fort's 
our o'ft'n!" 



136 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

The American officers led their companies to seize the varions bat- 
teries and positions that had been assigned to them in the plan. The 
white cockade distingiiished friend from foe in the daxkness. Colonel 
Febiger went in with the rush line, seized the first Britisher he enconn- 
tcred and demanded to be led to Colonel Johnson, the commandant of 
the fort. At this juncture most of the British infantrymen and Colonel 
Johnson with them were down defending the front approach, which 
our North Carolinans appeared to be assaulting. Hearing the shouts 
of victory from the heights behind him, Johnson turned back, encoun- 
tered fleeing men and was informed that the Americans were in posses- 
sion of the main body of the fort, having come up the side. 

Lieut. Gibbons, with his "forlorn hope," was leading the left col- 
umn toward the north side of the promontory. When going up the 
hill Major Stewart took the responsibility of changing the order of bat- 
tle. He directed Gibbons squad to diverge to the right, while he kept 
on along the hillside to the eastern extremity of the point. With Gib- 
bons was Major Normont de Laneuville, a Frenchman, who was ren- 
dering gallant service. With their clothing muddy and torn, they 
entered the main works boldly and encountered resistance. Only four 
of the party came through without wounds to join the right column at 
the summit. They took forty prisoners. The manner of the Ameri- 
can entry split the garrison into sections, which were separately over- 
whelmed. Resistance of a desperate kind was sometimes encountered, 
and some few accepted death rather than surrender. Mercy was 
granted when appealed for. Bullets as well as bayonets completed the 
conquest, which had occupied about twenty-five or thirty minutes. The 
Hag of the fort continued at the masthead for some time after the Amer- 
icans could have lowered it. One of the Gibbons party struck it and as 
it came fluttering down a soldier caiight and handed it to Lieut.-Colonel 
T'leiiry. General Wayne was struck down by a bullet as he paused for 
a moment at the second abatis. Stunned for a moment, and fearing 
that the wound Avas mortal, he asked to be carried forward, that he 
might die if need bo in the fort. The injury proved not to be serious. 
At 2 a. m. he dispatched the news of the victory to Washington. 

Guns were at once brought to bear against Verplanck's Point by a 
company of artillery led by Captain Pendleton and Captain Bnrr, and 
they also directed a few bolts at TI. M. S. Vulture, which was lying in 



rZ-'^' 



^^C^ 



'^ ^.tec«£T.*USSKH TO etKlSKT ASMCtO', ■' 
'j; ■ rOR IME-SMliEllilsH »l HEStHlHd. 
;*M;'AK£M.)PWSIlNQuTtn£D,'>»,0 cpjyJEMKeu A§ A SP>'': 

i".' , ."tas .op»tH ' ^- V ■;•■:; ;' 

• 3*»U«««C0Jiaj>lSLT0 1H£slrVlU< C0DE.i3?,WAlC' ' 
, .._, ilOVWfVCK'HISEASWiCS TOPKV. ■ ■ ^ "•< 
"'. •', 1"° ^™ 'UiWES MOUHKEO THD FAJt' ',•:.#' 
Of OME 90 VOUNc AND SO BRAVE 

».«aH.s««i»s wtfij umna ro WEST«iNtTar«eiY' 

■A iVJ«EIiED .Y5AHS.^T£ ,,,«V,jXjj.O .,„^ , 
,^.^ ST.HE »,A. ry,CEO ABOVE "HE SPOT WliERi: «z EAV 
-Hciw"' "" "«"'^'^='« ' W.,„.,i„UOHT. 

. .«?'."«"fETUATcmfiEcoRp-orsn>..fE •'■ 

.-■ ^^'^ -*t., or THOSE BET^f< raE»«' ^ X. 

h ^^' ';r^-'«'^ ■"AT rp. FRiE OE.: „«,;>.. ■ .: 



»^<S. 



1^.- 



Uk.- 



5m 



THE ANDKE MONUMENT, TAPPAN. 



"THE FORT'S OUR OWN." 137 

the stream, causing her to hasten out of range. The effect of the firing 
could not be observed in the darkness, but the enemy made no reply. 

Fifteen Americans laid down their lives that night; eighty-three 
were wounded. Of the British sixty-three were killed, and over seventy 
wounded; five hundred and forty-three were taken prisoners to East on, 
Pa. The Americans secured fifteen pieces of artillery and military 
stores that were appraised at $158,040.82, and purchased at that price 
by Congress, the money being divided among the soldiers who took 
part in the fight. Each private's share was $78.92. General Wayne 
received $1,420.51. Other spoils worth about twenty-two thousand 
dollars were apportioned among the regiments. Fleury and Kno.x 
declined to accept the money reward to which they were entitled, pre- 
ferring to have it distributed among their men. Fleury also preferred 
to stay with the Light Infantry Corps rather than be promoted else- 
where. Wayne, Fleury and Stewart received medals from Congress; 
Gibbons, Knox and Archer promotion. 

Washington had planned for an attack on Verplanck's the next day, 
but a series of accidents stayed the blow, and Sir Henry Clinton saved 
the place by quickly throwing an anny in between it and the Amer- 
icans. Washington had no thought of holding Stony Point, and after 
the removal from there of everything worth taking, and when tlie 
dead had been buried and the seriously wounded sent to places of safety, 
the fort wa.s Inirnt and demolished and the position abandoned (m the 
18th. A British fleet arrived in Haverstraw Bay on the 19th, and Sir 
Henry Clinton again took possession, biit Washington had accomplishe<l 
his purpose. 

The day before the Americans retired, they suffered the final loss of 
the Lady Washing-ton. The intrepid little man-of-war had been raised 
from the bottom of Rondout creek in the fall of 1777, and restored to 
the naval service of the republic. When Wayne was gathering Tip the 
fruits of his victory, the Lady Washington came down to assist with 
the transportation. She had been loaded with captured stores and was 
standing off for West Point when the batteries at Verplanck's Point 
and H. M. S. Vulture, with two consorts, opened on her and a shot 
pierced her side below the water line. The crew had no other recourse 
than to run her agTound and burn her. The Light Infantry Cor]is 
returned to their former cainp near Fort Montgomery and remained 



138 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

there until October, wlien they moved openly down to Haverstraw and 
threatened Stony Point again. Sir Henry Clinton thereupon aban- 
doned King's Ferry altogether. 



References: Historica-l Manusoripts. Clinton Papers. Johnston's "The 
Storming- of Stony Point." Dawson's "The Assault of Stony Point." 



CHAPTER XL 

THE WAGES OF TREASON. 
General Arnold Assdg-.niecl to Commiind West Point — He Conspirejs to Betray 
the Fortress — Intercourse With .loshua Hett Smith — His Midnight Meeting- 
Witfli Mlajor Andre — At tllie Smith Mansion — Aires* of Andre — Flight of 
Arnold — Smith Acquitted — Court^Martial and Execution of the Spy. 

THE story of Arnold and Andre is inseparably connected with the 
history of Rockland County. Here the remarkable drama in real 
life was mostly played; the territory of the old county, with its 
fortified passes, was the prize in the game of war and conspiracy. The 
King's cause was declining, the people's strengthening; France had 
come to the aid of the new States. West Point, "the key to the conti- 
nent," was their great fortress and arsenal, the unbreakable, choking 
grip on the neck of Oppression. Major-General Benedict Arnold, then 
high in the affections of his countrymen, the most conspicuous fighter 
that the war had produced, a fearless leader and consummate strategist, 
had been entrusted with the command of this department. And inas- 
much as he was now lame from wounds received in fighting the battles 
of his country, the general feeling was that the assignment was a sin- 
gularly fitting one. Washington even contemplated gi^nng Arnold the 
command of the American division of the allied army in a proposed 
attack on New York. 

But the people did not know their man. Arnold had applied for 
the appointment of the most important military command in the coun- 
try, next to that of commander-in-chief, with no other intention than 
to betray it. The proof of this was left by Sir Henry Clinton. For 
eighteen months previous to the discovery of the treason he was in cor- 
respondence with the unfaithful American oflPcer. Coimt back eigh- 
teen mouths from September 24, ITSO, and we find that Arnold was then 
stationed in Philadelphia as the military go^•ernor, and was about to be 



THE WAGES OF TREASON. 139 

marripci to the daughter of a lending royalist. He had assumed the 
fommand of that city, by the direction of Washington, on June 19, 
1778, the day following the evacuation by the British. As the military 
governor, the hero of many battles and occupying the pretentious man- 
sion erected by William Penn, he was a considerable figiire in the 
national capital. ISTot being an adherent of the doctrine of democratic 
simplicity, he added to the dignity of his official position a luxurious 
style of living, and further ornamented his career by winning the hand 
of beautiful Peggy Shippen. Few young men in all the world's his- 
tory had ever risen to such a height of glory so quickly; no war of 
America since has been illuminated by such a bright military-me- 
teor. In Philadelphia he reached the zenith of his career as a man of 
honor, and there, too, began his sensational downfall. 

It will be found that at the date when his epistolary correspondence 
with Sir Henry Clinton began, he was writhing under humiliating and 
unjust imputations. He had been reqTiired in the discharge of his duty 
to enforce certain unpopular regulations, and a feeling of animosity had 
been engendered -which he took no trouble to conciliate. ■ His ostenta- 
tious style of li\'ing, inciu'ring expenses which he was not able to liqui- 
date, his attentions to Miss Shippen, and in general his intimacies with 
loyalist families, were also subjects of criticism by the republicans. 

The feeling of hostility towards him in certain circles cidminatcd in 
charges being preferred to CongTess by the Executive Council of the 
city and spread broadcast through the land a few weeks before his mar- 
riage. Though they had their origin in the violence of party strife in 
time of war, they sufficed to bring great discredit upon him. Arnold's 
cliief offense was not charged in the official indictment, and consisted in 
giving an entertainment to which not only Tory ladies, but the wives and 
daughters of persons proscribed by the State were admitted. Answering 
this, he said he was not making war on women. The charges hung for 
a year ere a decision was rendered. The defendant grieved under the 
delay, which was all the more irritating because it clouded his court- 
ship and honeymoon, and provoked his resignation as militars' governor. 
It was at this crisis that lie listened to temptation. Loyalists of promi- 
nence expressed sympathy and exaggerated the injustice of his country. 
They prepared his mind for overtures which came from New York; but 



140 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

it is not believed that Arnold committed himself fully until final judg- 
ment was rendered and the pending case closed by the public censure 
administered by Washington. 

"I reprimand yon," said the General, "for having forgotten that in 
proportion as you had rendered yourself formidable to our enemies, 
you should have been guarded in your deportment toward your fellow 
citizens. Exhibit anew those noble qualities which have placed you 
on the list of our most valued commanders. I shall myself furnish you, 
as far as it may be in my power, with opportunities for regaining the 
esteem of your country." 

In such a reprimand Arnold might have discovered eulogy implied, 
but it remained a humiliation and not the first tliat Arnold had suffered 
at the hands of Congress. Wire-pulling was not a science ^mkno^vn 
in army circles, and Arnold, as well as other heroic leaders, had in times 
past felt the cruelty of favoritism. His social prestige in the city had 
been iiTctrievalily damaged; he was heavily in debt and looked forward 
to the restoration of peace and the disbandment of the army with appre- 
hension. He feared that he might not be so successful in the paths of 
peace as he had been on the battle-field. This much he revealed. 

The combination of circumstances which led him into the web of 
conspiracy cannot be traced. The secret perished with the chief actors. 
Only a few suggestive facts have been handed down. Mrs. Arnold was 
personally acquainted with Major Andre. Their acquaintance began 
under parental auspices, when the British occupied Philadelphia. Let- 
ters from Andre reached her home after he had departed from their city. 
It has been surmised that this acquaintance to some extent introduced 
the correspondence between Sir Hcniy Clinton and General Aniold. 
To what extent Mrs. Arnold was implicated in the final conspiracy was 
never exhibited. Arnold declared and Washington believed her to be 
innocent. Her youth was her best defence. 

The subject matter of the correspondence at the beginning was 
never revealed, except that Sir Henry Clinton stated that it was cai-ried 
on under the guise of commercial transactions. Not until the traitor 
obtained the command of "West Point and its dependencies" was it in 
his power to do much damage to the American cause. He received the 
a])pointment after personal application to Washington, and General 
Schuyler ond others, \ipon his request, employed their influence in his 



THE WAGES OF TREASON. 141 

belialf. Arnold gave liis lameness as a reason for preferring this post 
to service in the field. Hitherto he had refeiTed to his wounds as an 
excuse for inaction. 

On taking up his duties the first week in August, 1780, Arnold 
established his headquarters at the Beverly Eobinson house, at Gar- 
rison. Eobinson having joined the Eoyalists, the Government had 
confiscated his real estate. Arnold now had something of value in his 
basket to take to the market of treason. 

When on the way to his appointment, General Arnold with his 
family alighted at the hospitable mansion of Mr. Joshua Ilett Smith, at 
Haverstraw, on the road to King's Ferry. Mr. Smith spread his table 
with cheerfulness for their entertainment, and conceived the General's 
acquaintance "an honorable acquisition." The host was a gentleman 
of education and large means. His father, a lawyer, who died in 1769, 
had obtained political and professional prominence during a long career 
in New York city, under and somewhat with the favor of English gov- 
ernors; an older brother, William, followed in their father's steps and 
became Chief Justice of Canada, and now was Chief Justice of the Prov- 
ince of New York, besides the author of "Smith's History of New York," 
a work of celebrity. General and Governor George Clinton had studied 
for the bar in the otfice of Judge Smith at New York. Joshua Hett 
Sinith, also a lawyer, was the youngest of six brothers, and there were 
several sisters. The family connedtions were wide and infl'uential. 
Colonel A. Hawks Hay and Colonel Lamb of ai"tillei-y fame were con- 
nected with the family by ties of marriage. 

It is difficult to analyze the political sentiments of the family. Only 
one of the brothers so far as known, Thomas, refused to sign the Asso- 
ciation, and he aftenvard gave unmistakable evidence of his friendship 
for the revolution. Had Joshua Hett Smith been in sympathy with the 
Ivoyalist cause, instead of being the revolutionist he professed to be, he 
would still have been nowise different from many of his county neigh- 
bors. The avowed Royalists of America were so nimierous fliat they 
furnished twenty thousand men for the King's armies during the coui-sc 
of the war. In common with everybody else immediately descended 
from English parents, the Smiths of Haverstraw were suspected of dis- 
affection to the American cause. The family had reason to be per- 
plexed, having social and business ties on both sides, and much at stake. 



142 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

For two years Judge William Smith, the elder brother, continued witliin 
the American lines. Being a prominent per.sonage, he was the object 
of no little public attention. Principally because of his past relations 
to the British government, he was by some called a spy. Whether jus- 
tified or not, the feeling against him culminated in his an-est and ban- 
ishment from the lines. A historian of that era (Jones) denounced the 
proceedings as fraudulent and intended for no other purpose than to 
deceive the British authorities as to Judge Smith's real character, which, 
he declared, was that of a spy for the rebels. It was fui'ther charged 
that he had helped the ISTew York Legislature to frame the State Consti- 
tution. Compelled to take a stand, Judge Smith fully identified him- 
self with the Royalists and his abilities were recognized by his appoint- 
ment as the British Chief Justice. 

ITow the passions of the war disrupted families was apparently exem- 
plified in this case: Joshua Hett Smith, with Dr. Cutwater and Col- 
onel Sherwood, was elected to the Third Provincial CongTess (May 14 
till June 30, 1776), and also to the Fourth Congress (July 9, 1776, till 
May 13, 1777); all three opposed the measure of independence that 
had been adopted by Congress, and then acquiesced to the will of the 
majority. In regard to another brother, Thomas, there is a letter on 
record, -\vi-itten by him to General Clinton, in April, 1777, dated from 
Haverstraw, in which after referring to the depredations of "the enemy" 
in the southern part of the county, he lays down the maxim that, "the 
State that exacts alleg-iance must give protection, and when the latter is 
withheld the former cannot be exacted." He adds: "As the country 
below the mountains is entirely defenceless, I think it prudent to remove 
my family to Ringwood, and I shall be much obliged to you for a pennit 
to pass the lines in the Highlands with my children and effects. As the 
next southerly wind may bring xvp the enemy, the sooner I have it the 
better, ^j best respects to your brother and all friends." 

During the few weeks that Arnold remained in command of the 
department, Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Arnold made frequent visits to each 
other, and the General was as freqiiently with Mr. Smith, "in search of 
those culinary supplies unattainable in the mountainous recesses where 
he resided." Mrs. Arnold, according to the Narrative left by Mr. 
Smith, "was qualified from a most amiable disposition and every engag- 
ing attraction to be at once the example and ornament of the politest cir- 



THE WAGES OF TREASON. 143 

elcs." As for General Arnold, Mr. Smith felt liappy in rendering him 
every aid in his power, "and cultivated his acquaintance from motives 
of security." Mrs. Arnold was by every account a very handsome 
kdy. At this crisis she was but twenty years old. Mrs. Smith was not 
many years older, and had been raised in South Carolina. Joshua II. 
Smith was thirty-one; Benedict Arnold thirty-nine. 

From his elevated residence Smith frequently observed flags of truce 
passing and repassing on the river, and sometimes he took the liberty 
of asking Arnold if the flags were for the exchange of prisoners. At 
first he received answers to the general effect that in a short time the bus- 
iness of the flags would be explained. Later, General Arnold was more 
conununicative and said tlie flags had brought letters from Colonel Bev- 
erly Johnson, who was aiixious to make terms for the recovery of his 
confiscated property, and, further, was authorized to propose sfime pre- 
liminary grounds for "an accommodation" between Great Britain and 
America. Colonel Lamb of the Artillery Corps at West Point being 
present and hearing these remarks, interjected that any proposition of 
that kind ought to be made to Congress. General Arnold replied that 
the communication must first be made through some channel, and there 
ihe subject was changed.* 

On another occasion Arnold ridiculed the alleged inconsistency of 
an absolute monarch being the ally of a people contending for free- 
dom. At the same time he mentioned that he had received another 
flag of truce by which Beverly Johnson had solicited an inteindew 
intended to be "more explanatory of the propositions that were to pro- 
duce, if acceded to by Congress, a general peace, and happily tenninatc 
the expense of blood and treasvire that was ruinous to both countries in 
the prosecution of a war without an object," as the conversation was 
reported by Mr. Smith. 

In one of his confidential moments the conmiander of West Point 
complained of having been ill-used by Congress, in not sufficiently esti- 
mating his seiwices. "Smith," he exclaimed, "here am I now, after 
having fought the battles of my country, with a ruined constitution and 
this limb useless to me. At the termination of this war where can I 
seek compensation for such damages as I have sustained?" 

Asked by Mr. Smith if he had informed General Washington of 

* Colonel Lamb oorroborated Smith, in reg-ard to tMs conversation, at the 

eoufrt-martial. 



144 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Ilobiiison's application, Arnold answered that lie had written to him for 
directions how to act, but that the Commander-in-chief had then gone 
to Connecticut or Rhode Island to visit Count Rochambeau, the com- 
mander of the French troops, lately arrived from France. At length 
Arnold announced to Smith that Robinson was coming to an interview, 
and invited him to conduct a flag of trace to bring the British represen- 
tative ashore from the Vulture. "I was so deeply interested in the 
object of this meeting," wTites Smitli in his Xarrative, "as represented 
bv General Arnold, and tlie success of it was so congenial to my wishes 
tliat I made no hesitation to assure him of my cheerful concurrence; 
and in a day or two afterwards General Arnold came to my house at 
Ilax'erstraw with tlie necessary passports for my mission to the Vulture." 

On Tuesday, September 19, 1780, Major John Andre, Adjutant- 
General of Sir Henry Clinton's army, left New York and came by way 
of King's Bridge to Dobbs Ferry (east shore), and thence by boat to H. 
M. S. Vulture, then lying in Haverstraw Bay. He arrived on board at 
seven in the evening,and found Colonel Beverly Robinson awaiting him. 
The only explanation for Robinson's appearance on the scene is that he 
as well as Andre had been sent to this meeting, and that he stood pre- 
cisely on the same footing. The evidence is strong that he was one of 
the agents who had been employed to seduce Arnold. He was dressed 
on this occasion in the flamboyant uniform that accorded with his rank 
in the British army. He had been the schoolmate of Washington, the 
owner of a fine estate on the Hudson, and aside from his politics was 
an officer and gentleman of ability and substance. There is gi-ound for 
believing that it was on Colonel Robinson that Sir Henry Clinton 
depended to arrange with Arnold the military details for the investment 
of West Point. Major Andre was young and therefore inexperienced 
in many matters; Colonel Robinson was a grey-haired veteran of many 
campaigns. Ho had fought at Fort Montgomeiy and knew every strat- 
egical path and position in the Highlands. Had the conspiracy suc- 
ceeded, Robinson would probably have been the successor of Arnold as 
commandant at the fortress. At the last moment he played safety and 
refused to cross the line of danger. 

The understanding on his part evidently was that Arnold would 
come out to the Vulture. In the middle of the night of the 21st, when 
he sat waiting, Joshua H. Smith came aboard and handed liim a letter 



THE WAGES OF TREASON. 145 

from Ariiolil. The two were old acquaintances. The letter was writ- 
ten for Smith's protection rather than for Robinson's information: 
"This will be delivered to jou by Mr. Smith," it said, "who will conduct 
you to a place of safety. Neither Mr. Smith nor any other person shall 
be made acquainted with your proposals. If they are of such a nature 
that I can officially take notice of them, I shall do it with pleasure." 
The cunning writer here introduced a word for his own benefit: "I 
take it for granted that Colonel Robinson will not propose anything that 
is not for the welfare of the United States as well as himself." 

The Colonel shied. He introduced Smith to Captain Sutherland, 
who lay in his bunk, ordered some refreshments and then went into 
another room. He was gone twenty minutes and Smith spent the time 
in conversation with the Captain. Robinson was discussing the situa- 
tion with Andre. It may be imagined that they were annoyed by the 
twist Arnold had given to the affair. The cautious elder decided that 
he should not venture; Andre determined to go in his place. Sir Henry 
Clinton's last counsel had been, not to enter the American lines, not to 
remove his uniform, not to accept any writings. Andre expected to 
return in Smith's boat. It was strangely thoughtless that a ship's cutter 
was not ordered to take him, seeing that he was resolved on a personal 
interview. Smith asked for the help of two sailors, but it was not 
granted, notwithstandiug that the Vulture had been sent to favor the 
interview. 

When Robinson returned to the cabin he brought Andre, fiilly ready 
for the boat ride, and introduced him to Smith as "Mr. Anderson," a 
name that the young adjiitant-gencral as the amanuensis of his chief, 
had signed to his epistles to Arnold. Robinson pleaded indisposition, 
and announced that Anderson would go in his place. Entering \vith 
Smith into the small boat that waited, with two of the law^^er's tenants 
as oarsmen, Andre was rowed ashore. Arnold was waiting in a chimp 
of firs near the ^vater's edge at the foot of Long Clove. The historic 
spot is full two miles below Haverstraw village, then containing but a 
few scattered dwellings. It is down near where the mountains rise 
precipitously from the water. Far from the habitation of man, secluded 
and dismal, it was a fitting receptacle for the base secrets of a dark night. 

On landing, Smith sought out Arnold, who, on being told that Rob- 
iuson had not come, though sending a delegate, exhibited agitation and 



146 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

expressed chagrin and disappointment. Smith himself did not consider 
Andre qualified for bixsiness of such moment. Upon Arnold consenting 
to receive the young man, Smith conducted "Anderson" to his "Gus- 
tavus." The scene has been well designated as "the crisis of the Eev- 
olution." 

Joshua H. Smith had expected to participate in the "international 
negotiations," but was mortified by a request from Arnold to remain 
■with the watermen on the strand. Arnold was more merciful than dis- 
courteous. Many questions that occur to the reader of the story can 
never be answered. One relates to the refusal of the oarsmen to take 
Andre back to the ship, after they had waited some hours with the inten- 
tion of discharging that duty. Did anything that Smith said while 
smarting under the rebuff influence them to that determination? Cer- 
tain it is that he refused to return with Major Andre to the Vulture, 
and the boatmen on being appealed to by Arnold, declared that they did 
not have strength enough left to accomplish it, because of the distance 
and the tide being against them. Again, it was urged as a reason for 
not returning to the sliip that daylight was near and daylight meant dis- 
covery. The force of the seoond reason lay in the fact that Arnold had 
said when engaging the watermen that the business was of a nature not 
to be generally known. If Smith had not countenanced the measure, 
assuring them that it was for the good of the countiy, the Colquhouns 
would not have come, for they had not readily perceived why an hon- 
orable flag of truce needed concealment. In later years Smith put this 
question to the world to answer: "If the purpose of the inteniew had 
been accomplished, why should not General Arnold have given me a 
flag to carry this gentleman on board the Vulture?" 

Dismissing intricate points that were long under discussion here 
and abroad, the story follows Arnold and Andre in their ride of more 
than four miles to Treason Hill. Arnold had come on horseback, 
accompanied by one of Smith's servants on another horse. The Eng- 
lish adjutant-general rode on the horse the servant had brought. Smith 
returned up the river in the boat, landing at Crom's Island. The two 
oflicers had not proceeded far on the highway when they were chal- 
lenged. "Who goes there?" If Andre had forgotten his commander's 




p 

C 



THE WAGES OP TREASON. 147 

warning, he must have recalled it with startling clearness as he passed 
throiigh the American lines with one whom he knew to be a traitor to his 
country. 

Andre wore his regular uniform, but its bright colors were hidden 
under a long blue coat. He had been assured of perfect safety at 
Smith's house and a safe conduct back to the Yiilture tlie following 
night. They followed the road through the village, plotting the ruin 
of the republican cause. The plan they were perfecting comprehended 
an assault in large force by the British and a weak resistance by the gar- 
rison. The strength of West Point was represented by five forts and 
nine redoubts and a number of batteries, mounting a total of one hun- 
dred guns, wth three thousand available troops. Both sides of the 
river were fortified, and navigation obstructed by a chain. Arnold 
agreed to send the principal troops to distant points under the pretence 
of defending approaches. The forts would then be ■without men enough 
to hold them. 

The conspirators arrived at the house long before Smith. Mrs. 
Smith had gone with the children to Fishkill and nobody was home but 
the servants. As the boat bearing the owner was entering the creeks, 
the boom of a heavy gun came across the water. Colonel Livingston of 
Verplanck's Point, irritated by the boldness of the Vulture, had deter- 
mined to drive her away. 

With horses he had drawn a field piece from the fort, to the head of 
Croton Point and opened fire. The cannonade continued while day- 
light was breaking, and Andre with dismay saw the ship pass down the 
liver. Captain Sutherland, however, did not desert him. After a few 
hours he brought the Vulture back to near her former anchorage. 

When the master of the house returned he conducted the officers to 
the southeast room on the second floor, and sensed them with breakfast. 
Then, being ill and tired, he went to bed, leaving "Anderson" and 
Arnold alone for the greater part of the day. Smith atfii-mcd afterward 
that he did not know who "Anderson" was. He took him for an agent 
of Colonel Robinson and otherwise a person of no particular importance, 
and of whoso history he knew nothing, except that, as Arnold had 
remarked sarcastically, he had picked up a gaudy uniform somewhere. 
The "Treason House" needs no description here. It is in the American 
catalogiie of famous places near the top. It was a house that com- 



148 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

iiiaiitlcd respect in the Revolution foi' its interior clianu, as well as its 
dignified niein and distingnislicd position. Many notable persons had 
sat at its hospitable board. The reputation of Joshua H. Smith has 
been clouded ever since his connection ^vith Benedict Arnold, but he 
was a person of no mean parts, who before his association A^dth the 
traitor had rendered valuable service to his country. He was one of the 
thirteen riflemen who repulsed the landing party from the British fleet 
in July, '76, and on different occasions loaned local republican agents 
large sums of money with which to obtain supplies for troops. General 
Knox and General Howe testified in his favor at the trial. 

Toward evening Arnold went to Smith's I'oom and proposed that he 
should convey '\Mr. Anderson" back to the Yulture, but Smith, plead- 
ing illness — "a fit of the ague" — said he was unable to gratify him. The 
General then suggested that Smith should accompany their guest' part 
of the way to Xew York by land when the ague had passed over, and to 
this Smith made no objection, saying it would be in his way to visit his 
family at Eishkill and bring them home. It is apparent that he had 
a reason best known to liimself for not escorting Andre back to his ship. 

Returning again to Smith's room, Arnold requested the loan of a 
coat and hat for "Anderson's" use, saying that it would not be safe for 
him to travel in a British uniform. The other part of the dress woiild not 
require change. Fitted with a hat and coat belonging to his host, Andre 
went a little way with the departing General. 

"What cares CongTCss for your services, your wounds and j'our 
losses?" he asked. "Your enemies in Congress do not thank you. I 
have even been told that in your fight with Burgoyne, when you so crip- 
pled hini as to compel him to surrender, you fought as a volunteer and 
without a command, and that while you were leading the troops. Gates 
was in his tent, not even going on the field at all; yet he received T>\\r- 
goyne's sword and all the honors of the victory, while you were tried by 
court-martial and disgraced." 

"Yes," replied Arnold; "all this and more is true; and this in part has 
driven me to my present conduct. Independence must be postponed. 
Half a centiiry hence it will come without war." 

"Yes, General Arnold," said Andre, "we will restore peace and 
reconciliation, and for you there shall be honor, appreciation and an 
English peerage, in place of ingratitude and a public reprhuand." 



THE WAGES OF TREASON. 149 

"Peace and reconciliation ^^ill be better than blood and suffering. 
But I hate to deceive Washington. They have driven me to it,"' added 
the traitor. "We must not fail. Hasten back, Andre, bring up your 
troop.e and West Point is yours."* 

Andre was disconsolate when Arnold left. He was in danger. He 
had violated the three commands of his chief: He had entered the 
American lines, he had put off his uniform and had accepted wTltlngs 
from Arnold. Smith tried to amuse him by showing him the prospect 
from the southeast room. Upon some remark being made about the 
Vulture, the young Englishman cast at her an anxious look and, sighing, 
said: "I wish I was on board.'' "You will be at Xew York before she 
will," remarked Smith consolingly. "But I think the General might 
have ordered a flag of truce from Stony Point for you." 

Andre winced at this and became reserved. He expressed his desire 
to leave as soon as possible. Several persons came to the house and he 
kept out of sight. Andre had left passports for both men, either to the 
Vulture or to White Plains. Smith would not go out to the frigate 
again, Andre dared not venture alone. In the twilight they set out on 
horseback, conversing as they approached Stony Point about the niun- 
ber of times the post had changed hands. On the way they fell in with 
some military oiEcers, and had a drink with them at the feny, the .spy 
allthe while being in an agony of mind. Darkness closed around them 
as they passed over the river. 

***** 

It is six days later, the morning of the 28th of September. Two 
barges well manned are approaching King's Feny. Waiting at the land- 
ing is a detachment of dragoons. In the leading boat is Major Andre, a 
prisoner, and closely guarded ; in the other is Joshua Hett Smith, also a 
prisoner. They are being taken to Tappan for trial by court-martial, one 
as a spy, the other as a traitor to his coimtry. They had played a daring 
game and lost in the last turn. Alter having been escorted by SmitJi 
through the American lines, Andre was galloping with a light heart over 
the neutral groimd, expecting presently to be safe within the British 
lines, when he was stopped, at Tarrytown, by a band of American irreg- 
ulars. Had he at once shown his passport from General Arnold, he 
would have been allowed to proceed. But, deceived by a red coat which 

I. X. Arnold's "Life of Benedict Arnold." 



ISO HISTORY OF ROCKIyAND COUNTY. 

one of the men was wearing, no doubt for purposes of deception, he re- 
vealed his identity as a British officer, and was thereupon searched and 
exposed as a spy. In his hoots were found the papers that Arnold had 
prevailed on him to carry to Sir Henry Clinton. The documents were, 
(1) an estimate of the forces at West Point and its dependencies, (2) a 
description of the works at the main post, (3) a detailed report of the ord- 
nance equipment, and (4) the orders for the disposition of the troops in 
case of alann. Andre would probably have been released had not these 
papers been found on him, and Sir Henry Clinton could easily have dis- 
pensed with the infonnation they contained. Joshua Hett Smith had 
been arrested in bed at Fishkill, and conducted the next day into the 
presence of Washington at Beverly House. Two evenings previously 
they had supped together. Now accused of treason, he was remanded 
to West Point for temporary confinement, and thither Andre was also 
taien. Fort Putnam was the prison of the Englishman, a hut sufficed 
for the other. Arnold had escaped to the Vulture, leaving his wife in a 
swoon at Beverly House, and was now safe in 'New York. The country 
was aflame with indignation. 

The dragoons closed around the prisoners as they stepped ashore, and 
the march at once began. Andre rode in front. Smith at the rear of 
the cavalcade. Permission was granted for the latter to stop at his res- 
idence, and he was gxeatly distressed at the havoc that had been wrought 
there. Not only had his private papers been abstracted, but securities 
valued at $30,000 had been stolen. The Government afterwards reim- 
bursed him — at least in part. The journey was resumed, and ten miles 
farther on all disnioiinted at John Coe's tavern for dinner. At dusk 
they arrived at Tappan, the headquarters of General Greene, who was 
in command of the left wing of the main Continental army. The escort 
halted in front of the church, and a crowd of citizens and soldiers hurled 
execrations at the prisoners. To the populace their former Congress- 
man was well known, and for him the ordeal must have been a painful 
one. Andre was taken to a room in Mabie's tavern for confinement. 
Smith to the old church. Judge Heron, who resided in the village, fur- 
nished his unfortunate professional friend with a blanket to lie on. 
Before the door of the sanctuary guards were posted, and inside two 
senti-ies kept watch. The room in which Andre was confined was eigh- 
teen feet six and one-half inches in length, eleven feet seven and one- 



THEiWAGES OF TREASON. ISl 

half inches in width, seven feet five inches high. It was lighted by 
one window, wliich commanded a western view. Two otRcers were 
detailed to stay in the room \\'ith him, and sentries surrounded the house. 

A^'^asllington followed the prisoners to Tappan, arriving the same 
day, and selecting the residence of John DeWint for his headquarters. 
This building has survi\'ed until the present, but has been altered by a 
front of modern construction. Two courts of inquiry were constituted, 
one for the trial of Andre, the other to consider the case of Smith. Ten 
charges were drawn up against the former Congressman, whose acquain- 
tance \\'ith the methods of legal procedui-e now proved to be of the great- 
est service to him. Perceiving that the charges were framed so that the 
proof of one would necessarily involve by inference the others, he 
requested that all be consolidated into one general accusation. The 
request was granted, and when he appeared before the court for trial, he 
was required to answer to but one charge, that he had aided and 
assisted Benedict Arnold, in combination with the enemy, for the piir- 
pose of taking, seizing and killing the garrison at West Point and its 
dependencies. 

The defendant fii"st objected to trial by a military tribunal, he being 
a private citizen. He claimed the right of trial by jiiry, in a civil court, 
as guaranteed by the Constitution. The objection was over-ruled and 
the taking of testimony begun. Among the witnesses examined was 
the Marquis de la Fayette, who, though he had been a great deal at 
Smith's house, as many other general officers had been, now exhibited 
some animosity toward the defendant. Also, General Knox, Colonel 
Alexander Hamilton, Colonel Hamson, Colonel Hay and Colonel Liv- 
ingston; Paulding, Van Wert and Williams, the militiamen who cap- 
tured Andre; and the Colquhoun brothers, who rowed the defendant 
out to the Vulture. The defendant himself interrogated the witnesses 
with skilful thoroughness. With the aid of the two boatmen he seemed 
to establish that he had gone out to the vessel under a flag of truce from 
General Arnold, and, as he himself affirmed, innocently. He said he 
understood from Arnold that "Anderson" was a young merchant who 
from folly or pride had borrowed a military coat; that he could not 
understand why Arnold had not returned Andre to the Vulture under 
a military escort. It was developed that the original interview was to 
have been held at Dobbs Ferry (west side), and the Vulture had been 



1S2 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

stationed there for tliat purfiose before coming np to Haverstraw Bay; 
that Arnold had himself tried to get out to the ship secretly, and on 
two occasions was fired npon by the Vulture. 

The trial of Smith was not concluded at Tappan. The day after 
Andre's execution, the army broke camp and marched to Pyramus, and 
then to Totowta Bridge, near the falls of Passaic. Here the trial was 
resumed, and Colonel Lamb, Jonathan Lawrence, General Howe, Cap- 
tain Hutchins, Captain Gardner, Commodore Bowen and others were 
examined as mtnesses. The proceedings were in the open air, a great 
concourse of soldiers and civilians attending. The trial was protracted 
for four weeks. On the 10th of Xovember the prisoner was put on a 
horse and conducted back to Haverstraw, where he was permitted to 
spend the night with liis family at his brother's house. The next morn- 
ing he was taken in a boat from King's Ferry to West Point. The 
court martial had acquitted him and he was being held to await the 
action of the grand jui-y on a charge preferred by the county commis- 
sioners of conspiracies. 

On November 18 the prisoner was led from AVest Point, under a 
guard of fifty horsemen, to Smith's Clove, which was named after his 
family, from the fact that they had possessed the greater part of the 
land it contained. He was permitted to spend the night at the family 
homestead, where one of his brothers then lived, and the next morning 
was led to Goshen and put in the jail. The first grand jury wovild not 
indict, saying that once was enough to put a man on trial for his life. 
Being fearful of what the next one might do, and considering that he 
had suffered enough. Smith took ad\'antage of an opportunity to walk 
out of the Sheriff's office one day in May of the following year (1781). 
He hid first in a graveyard near by, then in the dwelling of a friend in 
the village, and finally reached New York. He retired to England with 
the British troops in 1783, leaving his wife in New York, whore she 
died a few weeks after he sailed. Llis calamities were numeroiis and 
hard to bear. The death of liis wife "prostrated all the barriers philos- 
ophy had raised," he wrote, and melancholy enveloped his mind. He 
was slowly recovering from this depression when, unexpectedly, he was 
visited by Arnold. The interview was brief and not a pleasant one 
for the former commander at "West Point. Eighteen yeai's passed and 
the exile determined to gratify a longing to live again in his old home on 



THE WAGES OP TREASON. 153 

the banks of tlie Hudson. It was in 1801 that lie came back to Haver- 
straw and opened a school in his mansion on the hilL But men and 
affairs had changed; they were not as he had hoped; the okl home was 
not the same. After a time he retraced his steps to England, and there, 
in 1808, he published his book, entitled "An Authentic Narrative of the 
Causes Which Led to the Death of Major Andre." It is a rare vol- 
ume. One lays it down after reading with conflicting emotions. Some 
years after the publication, Mr. Smith returned to New York city, and 
there he died, October 10, 1818, at the age of 59. 

The case of Andre was different, as was his fate. His trial began 
on the 29th of September, before a board of officers composed of Major- 
Generals Greene, Sterling, St. Clair, Lafayette, Howe and Steuben, and 
Brigadier-Generals Parsons, James Clinton, Knox, Glover, Paterson, 
Hand, Huntington and Stark, assisted by Judge Advocate Laurence. 
Andre made a triitliful statement of the facts relating to himself, and 
his honorable bearing made a deep impression. 

"When you landed did you consider yourself acting as a British 
officer, or as a private individual?" he was asked. "As a Bi'itish officer," 
was the reply. 

In reply to the question if he considered himself under the protec- 
tion of a ilag, he said it was impossible for him to so consider, and that 
if he had been, he certainly might have I'etunied under it. 

General Steuben remarked aftenvards that it was not possible to 
save him. "He put us to no proof, but in an oi^en, manly manner con- 
fessed ever^'thing but a premeditated design to deceive." The pris- 
oner's own servant was allowed to visit him, and after the trial Andre 
put on the full uniform of a British officer. 

Meanwhile Sir Henry Clinton was making every effort to save his 
young friend. In liis first letter to Washington he contendetl that 
Andre was not a spy, biit had come ashore at the invitation and under 
the protection of the American officer in command of the district. Gen- 
eral Arnold, wlio had sent a flag of truce to receive him. He inclosed a 
letter from Arnold affirming that Andre was under a flag of truce. 
Washington replied sajang that "Major Andre was employed in the 
execiition of measui-es veiy foreign to the objects of flags of truce, and 
such as they were never meant to authorize or countenance in the most 
distant degree; and this gentleman confessed in the course of his exam- 



154 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

illation that it was impossible for liini to suppose that he came on shore 
under the sanction of a flag.'' The board of officers at this time had 
rendered their verdict, "that Andre ought to be considered as a spy, and 
agreeably to the laws and usages of nations, it was their opinion he ought 
to suffer death." Washington approved of the finding and ordered the 
execution to take place the next day. But later he granted a respite to 
receive a deputation from Sir Henry Clinton, consisting of General Kob- 
ertson and Chief Justice Smith, brother of Joshua Hett Smith. Gen- 
eral Greene was sent to Dobbs Ferry to meet Lieut.-General Robertson, 
but Justice Smith was not recognized in the matter. Nothing was pro- 
duced at tliis inteiwiew — which occurred on the first of October — to 
change the opinion of General Washington, and a message was con- 
vej^ed to the Greyhound, on board of which General Robertson waited, 
notifjang him that the American dctennination had not been altered. 
The British representative, not ceasing his efforts, wrote personally to 
the American Commander-in-Chief, and in defending Major Andre, he 
said: "He took no st«p while ashore but at the direction of General 
Arnold. . . . Under these circumstances I could not, and hoped 
you would not consider ilajor Andre a spy. . . . The change of 
clothes and name was ordered by General Arnold, under whose direction 
Andre necessarily was wliile within his command." 

Only one thing would have satisfied the Americans and saved Andre. 
It is well understood that the English captive would have been 
exchanged for Arnold. It was a secret guarded by the Americans but 
revealed by the British, that General Greene intimated this to General 
Robertson, at their personal interview. Greene did not speak thus 
without authority. The matter was presented in season to Sir Henry 
Clinton, who therefore had it in his power to decide whether Andre or 
Arnold shoiild hang on the gallows at Tappan. There is strong 
evidence for saying that Andre knew that his fate was in Sir Henry's 
hands, but he honorably refrained from appealing to him to make the 
exchange. Instead, he wrote a touching farewell to his general, "with 
the object," as he said, of removing "any suspicion that I could imagine 
I was bound by your excellency's orders to expose myself to what has 
happened. Tlie events of coming within an enemy's post and changing 
my dress, which led me to my present situation, were contrary to my 
own intention, as they were to your orders; and the circuitous route I 



THE WAGES OF TREASON. 155 

took was imposed (pcrlinps unavoidably) without alternative upon me. 
I am perfectly tranquil and prepared for my fate, to which an honest 
zeal in my King's service may have devoted me. In addressing myself 
to your excellency on this occasion, the force of all my obligations to 
you, and the attachment and gTatitude I bear you, recurs to me. With 
all the warmth of my heart I give you thanks for your excellency's pro- 
fuse kindness to me, and I send joii the most earnest wishes for your wel- 
fare which a faithful, affectionate and respectful attendant can frame." 
But the word that would have saved the young man came not. "If 
Andre were my ovm brother I could not consent to it," was Sir Henry 
Clinton's remark. 

So Washington signed the death warrant. By all the laws of war he 
was justified. Eomilly, the great English jurist and law reformer, in 
later years wi-ote: "The arginnents used by Clinton and Ai'nold, in 
their letters to Washington, to prove that Andre could not be considered 
a spy are: First, that he had with him when he was taken a pro- 
tection of Arnold's, who was at that time acting under a commission 
of the Congress, and therefore competent to give protection. Certainly 
he was to all strangers to his negotiations with Clinton, but not to 
Andre, who knew him to be at that time a traitor to the Congress; nay, 
more, whose protection was granted for no other purpose than to pro- 
mote 'and give effect to his treachery. In the second place, they say 
that when he was taken he was on neiitral ground ; but they do not deny 

that he had been within the American lines Certainly, 

no man in his situation could have acted with more detennined courage, 
but his situation was by no means such as to admit of these exaggerated 
praises." 

To the prisoner's plea for a soldier's death, Washington made no 
answer, perhaps not wishing to destroy his last hope. On the morning 
of the execution the village was filled with people. The blinds of Wash- 
ington's headqiiarters were closed. Andre rose early and during the 
morning conversed pleasantly with his guard, but not referring to his 
approaching end, except when he saw the officers looking sad; then he 
Avould take up a glass and say, "Come, let us take a glass of wine. It 
only makes me feel the worse to see your feelings hurt." When his 
hoiu' came, he laid aside his dressing go\\ni, put on his uniform and 
packed his tnmks. A column of soldiers drew up in front of the build- 



1S6 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

ing, and he was brought out. Northward a little way, and then directly 
west, the procession marched for half a mile. The general officers, his 
judges, with their aides, were drawn up beside the road, and as the brave 
fellow passed them he raised his cocked hat in deferential salutation. 
He walked firmly on, keeping step to the drum beat, till he came in sight 
of a high gallows. Here he stopped witli an exclamation of horror. He 
had asked the officers at his side as they had come along if they knew 
what was to be the manner of his death, and they had answered that 
they did not. He now said, 'T have borne everj-thing with fortitude, 
but tliis is too degrading. . . . Must I die in this manner? As 
respects myself, it is a matter of no conseqiience, but I have a mother 
and sisters who will be mortified." He walked on. "How hard is m;^ 
fate." . . . "It will soon be over," he added, as he came to the 
place of death. Two forked trees, with the third laid across, formed the 
gallows. Beneath it was a two-horse baggage wagon bearing a coffin. 
Eye witness made these records: 

"Andre waited a moment, betraying some emotion, putting one foot 
on a small stone and rolling it over, and choking up as if attempting to 
swallow. He bowed his head for a moment before attempting to get 
into the wagon by the tailboard. His first attempt failing, he snid a 
few words to his servant, who was standing by, overcome wath grief, and 
putting one hand on the wagon body, made a determined spring and 
succeeded. Standing on his coffin, he calmly looked around on the sol- 
diers and a multitude of people, men, women and children. Colonel 
Scammel, as adjutant, read the order for execution, and General Glover 
said quietly, 'Major Andre, if you have anything to say, you can speak, 
for you have but a short time to live.' Standing with hands on hips, 
the prisoner bowed to him and in an unfaltering voice said, T have noth- 
ing more to say, gentlemen, than this, I pray you bear witness that I 
meet my fate like an honest man.' 

Andre waved the black-face hangman aside, and took off 
his hat himself, and handed it, together vnth his watch, to his servant. 
His neckcloth he put in liis pocket when he had taken it off. He also 
put the noose around his neck; his handkerchief he bound around his 
eyes, and stood waiting for death as the hangman mounted on a ladder, 
fastened the rope to the cross tree. "Bind his hands!" ordered General 
Glover. Andre pushed the handkerchief back from his eyes, drew a 



THE WAGES OF TREASON. 157 

piece of blue ribbon from his pocket, and handed it to the disguised 
executioner, and replaced the blindfold. 

The graceful figure standing there, bound and helpless, on the brink 
of eternity, was a sight that touched all hearts. Colonel Scanimel 
dropped the point of his sword as a signal, the horses were led forward, 
and the form of Major Andre swung off the coflfin at the end of the rope. 
The stillness of death reigned as his spirit took flight. For nearly half 
an hour the body swung too and fro, then was cut do^vn, and the uniform 
removed. As the earth fell upon the coiRn in the gTave under the gal- 
lows, the Greyhound, which had been waiting in the river for the young 
officer, raised her anchor and sailed away. 

On August 10, 1821, the bones were disinterred and carried aboard 
an English man-of-war for transport to London, where in Westminster 
Abbey they now repose. One hundred years after the execution a 
monument was erected at Tappan, to mark the spot where died, one who, 
as Washington said, was more unfortunate than criminal. 



Refereripe.s: "Life of Benedict Arnold," by I. N. Arnold. Abbatit's "Crisis 
of the Revolution." "An AuitJIientic Narrative of t)he Causes Which Led to the 
Death of Major Andre," by Joshua H. Smilth. 



158 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 



CHAPTER XII. 

SOLDIERS OF THE REVOLUTION. 
The Ijast CampaigTi — The Fren<?h Army — MeTiibers of the HaversitraTv Regi- 
menrt of Militdla — The Oomtinien'tiaJls — Members of Oaipt. Robert Johtniston's Com- 
liany — Of Captein ^Vmios Hutchins' Company — Officers of the Orangeton\Ti Reg- 

imenlt. 

THE year 1781 mtnessed the last campaign of importance in the 
war. Washington had spent the winter and spring at Xew 
Windsor, his army in the Highlands and in a line of cantonments 
extending from the Ramapo vallej^ to Morristown, N^. J. The French 
had wintered at Newport. The time had come for striking a fatal blow. 
The allies would either lay siege to New York city or strike Cornwallis 
at Yorktown, Va. Their first decision was to try New York. On .1 nne 
18th the French started from Rhode Island toward Westchester county, 
N. Y. Washington left his headquarters at New Windsor on the 26th, 
and with the American divisions crossed the Hudson. The junction 
with the French army was effected, the left of the French line being 
at White Plains, the American right on the Tappan Zee, at Dobbs 
Ferry. The American troops then numbered only four thousand five 
hundred; they had no uniforms and were poorly equipped, in this 
respect presenting a great contrast to the French army. For nearly 
two months the allies remained practically inactive in Westchester 
county, threatening Sir Henry Clinton's army on the south side of the 
Harlem. They were waiting for the French fleet without the aid of 
which they did not wish to attack. When it was knowm that De Grasse 
had entered the Chesapeake, Washington and Rocharabeau suddenly 
changed their plans, resolving on a quick march to Virginia. The 
troops began to march on the 19th of August, at four in the morning. 
Part of the American anny crossed to Sneden's landing; the rest fol- 
lowed the shore road to King's Ferry, and crossed there. The French 
took a circuitous route to Vei-planck's Point, by way of Phillipsburgh, 
North Castle, Leguid's Tavern, Pensbridge, Crampond and Peekskill, 
where they an-ived on the 22nd. Rochambeau, un-nalling to pass so 
near West Point without seeing it, devoted the 23d to visiting that 
famotis fortress in the company of Washington and several oflicers. The 
same day the French wagons and the legion of Lanzun crossed the river, 





i(W] 




E 




^^ 


o 


O ^ 


2 


C^ 


^ 


5^ 

if 


o 




X 

CO 


s s 




i @ 


Q. 


1 =3 


< 




2 






SOLDIERS OF THE REVOLUTION. 159 

at King's Ferry, and halted at Haverstraw, near the residence of Joshua 
Hett Smith. Bourbounaes' brigade passed over on the 24th, and the 
rest on the 25th. Washington left a corps of 3,000 militiamen, under 
Heath, to defend the Highlands. The allied forces marched in three 
grand divisions, each one day's march apart, the second division spend- 
ing one night at the quartei-s occupied by the first division the previous 
night. The American force, 3,000 men, constituted the first division. 
The first bivouac after leaving Haverstraw was at Sufferns, the next at 
Pompton. 

Comwallis suiTondered on the 19th of October. Orange county's 
Continental troops participated in this campaign, under General James 
Clinton. The French spent the winter in camps at Yorktown and 
Hampton, Va. Washington sent the Virginia militia south, and also 
dispatched the Maryland and Pennsylvania troops under Lafayette to 
reinforce Greene's army. He himself came back towards the Hudson 
with the remainder of the American Continentals. This was practically 
the end of the war. The French army re-crossed the river at King's 
Ferry September 14 of the following year, and was welcomed on the 
west shore by the main Continental anny. The French defiled between 
the American lines, which were now well equipped ; their arms had come 
from France, and their clothing principally from the storehouses at 
Yorktown. While the French remained here, they were encamped in 
front of Crampond, with an advance guard on the Croton. The Amer- 
icans were at the ferry, with their advance guard at the mouth of the 
Croton. The position was of great strategical importance; it defended 
the Highlands and at the same time threatened New York. When cer- 
tain that there was to be no more fighting, the French left their encamp- 
ments on the 12th of October, and from Boston in December they 
embarked for home. The main Continental army spent the mnter at 
Newburgh. 

During the course of the war tlio Continental Congress made three 
calls on the people of this State for troops for the Continental line, the 
first in 1775, the second early in 1770, the third in the summer of 1776. 
The returns on record, as is generally known, are incomplete, both of 
Continental and militia organizations. All returns made subsequent 
to the year 1781 were destroyed by fire at Washington in 1800. The 
two militia regiments raised in tlie section of county south of the moun- 
tains were Colonel A. Hawks Hay's, with headquarters at Haverstraw, 



160 



HISTORY OP ROCKLAND COUNTY. 



and Colonel Abraham Lent's, with hoadquartcrs at Tappau. From 
these two fundamental organizations were mainly dra\vn not only the 
Minute Men, but also the companies for the Continental line. Only the 
names of the officers of Colonel Lent's regiment have survived. In 
1777 the remnants of this regiment were consolidated ^\^th the Haver- 
straw regiment. Southern Orange furnished in whole or part at least 
three companies for the Continental line : 

(1.) Captain Robert Johnston's company, mustered Aiigiist 4th, 
1775; served under Colonel James Clinton in the campaign into Can- 
ada. (Names given below.) 

(2.) Captain Amos Hutchins' company, organized in February, 
1776, and attached to Eitzema's First Regiment in April, 1776. 

(3.) Captain Amos Hutchins' second company, organized in Novem- 
ber, 1776, for Colonel Diibois's Fifth Regiment. Sensed ^vith distinc- 
tion at the battle of Forts Montgomery and Clinton. (Names given 
below.) 

ORANGE COUNTY MILITIA.-Second Regiment. 

Colonel Ann Hawkes Hay Adjutant William Kyder 

Quartermas'ter Joseph John- 



I/ieut.-CoI. Isaac Sherwood. 
I/iewt.-Ool. Gilbert Ooope.r. 
Major John Smdtih 
Major John L. Sniith 
Adjutant James D. Clark 

Ciaii>t. G-arreit Ackerson 
Capt. Johannes Bell 
Capt. Aurie Blaiivelt, 
Capt. Johannes Blauvelt 
Capt. Joseph Crane, 
Capt. John Gardner 
Capt. John Hogenkamp 
Capt. John M. Hogenfeamp 
Capt. WilUam Kiers 
Capt. Jacob Onderdonck 
Capt. Reynard Quackenbos 
Capt. WilUam Sickles 
Capt. Anry Smith 
Capt. Henry Tenure 
Capit. Andrew Thompson 
Lieut. Bichawl Acker 
Lient. Cornelius Blauvelt 
Lieut. Thomas Blauvelt 
Lieut. Walter Cure 
Lieut. .Niatthias Conklin 
Lieut. Henry Bsler 
Lieut. .Jacob Finke 
Lieut. Williiam Garham 



Quart ermasit-er Garret Onder- 
donck 
Snrg-eion John Ferrand 

Lieut. William Graham 
Lieut. Daniel Onderdonck 
Lieut. Andris Onderdunck 
Lieult. Roger Osbom 
Lieut. Jacob Polhemus 
Ldeut. James Rumsey 
Lieut. Jacob Sickles 
Lieut. John Sitcher 
ldeut. Theunis Taulmian 
Lieut. Driek Van der Bilt 
Lieuit. Paul Van der Voort 
ldeut. Resolvent T. Van Hou- 
ton 

Lieut,. Walter Van Order 
Lieut. Jdhn Waldron 
Ensign Richard Ackerson 
Ensign .John Coe 
Ensign Willd'am Conklin 
Ensign John Myers 
Ensign Garret Onderd>onck 
Ensign Roger Osborn 
Ensign Albert Smith 
Ensign Teunis Talman, Jr. 



SOLDIERS OF THE REVOLTION. 



161 



ENLISTED MEN. 



Acoarsen, Thomas 
Acker, Derrick 
Ackarman, John 
Ackerlson, Jacob 
Allison, John 
Allison, Jlatthew 
All'ison, Thomas 
Archer, Jacob 
Baiboock, Jrtb E. 
Baker, Thomas 
Barwick, Robert 
Beekmian, John 
Bell. Wellem, Sr., 
Berray, Is'aac 
Bird, Samuel 
Blauvelt, John H. 
Blauvelt, Corneliuis 
Blauvelt, Daniel 
BlauTelt, Garret J. 
Blauvelt, Hendreck 
BlauveW,, Isaac H. 
Blauvelt, .Jacobus J. 
Blau\-«W:, Johannes G. 
Blauvelt, John G. 
Blauvelt, Joseph J. 
Blawvelt, Richard 
Blauvelt, Nuric 
Bogert, Gysbert 
Boilson, John 
Boilson, Anthony 
Brewer, Isaac 
Briggis, Jasper 
Briggs, Miatithius 
BrouwcT, Samuel 
Brower, Uldrick 
Bulson, Cornelius 
Burgess, Archer 
Butler, Isaac 
Oame, Edward D. 
Oammel, Stephen 
Oampbel), Robert 
Oankelen. William 
Carloughs, Nicholas 
Clark, James A. 
Ooe, Ben.jamin 
Coe, Daniie'l S. 
Coe, John D. 
Coe, Matthew 
Coe, Samuel 
Cohonn, Joseph 
Cole, Abraham 
Coleman, .John 
Conklin, Ezekiel 



Aecorsen, John 

Acker, Jacops 

.\ckerson, Abraham 

Allison, Is.sia<; 

Allison, Joseph 

Allison, Peter 

Allison, William 

Arden, Jacob 

Babcock, James 

Babcock, Thos. 

Barmore, Henry 

Darmore, Henry 

Bell, Hendrick 
Bell, William 
Bill, William 
Bltinvoit, Hermones 
Blauvelt, Abi^aham D. 
Blaiivelt, Cornelius I. 
Blauvelt, Gairret 
Blauvelt, Garrret G. 
Blauvelt, Hendrick A. 
Blauvelt, .Tacob 
Blauvelt, Johannes 
Blauvelt, .Johannes J. 
Blauvelt, .John J. 
Blauveilt, Peter 
Blawvelt, ThunSs 
Bogart, Johames 
Bogert, Ja<"ob 
Bcilson, John 
Bolson, Cornelius 
Bridggs. John 
Briggs, John 
Broiadwell, Henry 
Brower, Abraham 
Bruce, Robert 
Burchell. .Jeremiah 
Burgis, John 
Butler, Israel 
Cammel, Albert 
Campbell, Adam 
Campbell, Stephen 
Canniff, .James 
Clark, Danliel A. 
Clark, Joseph D. 
Ooe, Daniel 
Coe, Hal stead 
Coe, John S. 
Coe, Matthew. Jr., 
Coe, William 
Coin, Edward D. 
Cole, .\ndries 
CoUord, Abraham 



Acker, David 
Ackerman, Eda 
Ackerson, I>a\id 
Allison, Jeremiah 
Allison, .Joseph B. 
Allison, Samuel 
Ammerman, Aurt 
Armstrong, Robert 
Bahcock, Job 
Baekman, John 
B&rns, Jacob V. 
Bate, .James 
Bell, Wellem 
Bensen, .Johannes 
Birchel, Jeremiah 
Blasvuldt, Herramanus 
Blauveilt, Adam 
Blauvelt, Daniel A. 
Blauvelt, Garret Isaac 
Blauvelt, Harmanes 
BlaaiveU, Isaac G. 
Blauvelt, Jacobus 
Blauvelt, .Johannes D. 
Blauvelt, .John 
Blauvelt, Joseph 
Blauvelt, Peter 
Blmwelt, Frederick 
Bogert, David __ 

Bogort, John 
Boilson, .John 
Brewer, Aury 
Briggis, Henry 
Briggs, Tjawrence 
Brooks, John 
Brower, Lsaae 
Brush, Robert 
Burges, Michael 
Burns, David 
Butler, Joseph 
Cammel, Lulfe 
Campbell, Luck 
Campbell, Wiam 
Cargile, Henry 
Clark, Jacobes D. 
Clark, Michael D. 
Coe, Daniel, Jr., 
Coe, Isaac 
Coe, Jonas 
Coe, Matthew D. 
Cohoun, David 
Cokalect, Daniel 
Cale, feaac 
Collorot, Abraham 



162 



HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 



Concklin, Jolm 
Concklin, Stephen 
Conckling', Gabriel 
Conckling, John 
Conckling, Lersls 
Conckling', Nicholas 
Conckling, Thomas 
Conklin, Isaac 
Conklin, .Toseph J. 
Conklin, Stephen 
Cooper, Cornelius 
Cooper, Gilbert 
Cooper, Joseph 
Cornelison, John 
Corwine, Gilbeird 
Crane, Joihn 
Crouter, John 
Crnm, Richord 
Crnmb, William 
Cuper, llenrr 
Davison, M. 
DeClark, Jacobus 
Degnaw, I/uke 
Demarest, Jiacobus 
Demarest, James 
Depue, John 
Deronde, Henry 
Deronde, Jacob 
Dimerest, Peter 
Dutchetr, Isaac 
Djxketis, Thomas 
Edvvords, James 
Emmenis, James 
Felter, John 
Fowler, Lewis 
Frederich, Abram 
Furman, Benjamin 
Ganyon, Abraham 
Garrison, Abraham, .Jr., 
Gerow, Benjamin 
Goetschins, Abraham 
Gornee, Benjamin 
Gornee, Stephen, Sr., 
Graass, .Teoto 
Gross, .Tacob 
Gurnee, Elias 
Gurnee, John J. 
Glitches, Joseph 
Hadley, Isaac 
Halsted, Jacob 
Hannah, William 
Harring, Abram 
Heckle e, Robert 
Hendricivson, Jacobus 
Herring, Isaac 



Concklin, David 
Concklin, Nicholas N. 
Conckling, Abraham 
Conckling, Isiaac 
Conckling, John L. 
Conckling, Matthies 
Conckling, Nictiolias W. 
Conklin, Aaron 
Conklin, John 
Conklin, Lewis 
Cooper, Abnajm 
Cooper, Eda 
Cooper, Hendrick 
Cooper, Tunes 
Oorneliison, Michael 
Couter, jThn 
Cregier, Thomas 
Crow, Joshua 
Crumb, John 
Cuckleatt. Danfiel 
Cure, Walter 
Deal, Jacob 
Degraw, Cornelius 
Degraw, William 
DenraTest, Johannes 
DePeAV, Peter 
Deronde, Abrnharn 
Denonde, Henry C. 
Deronde, Tobias 
Doty, Adam, Jr., 
Dutcher, Peter 
Dyckmian, Abnaham 
Ekerson, Derick 
Emmit, Tunis 
Ferguson, John 
Fredenburgh, Peter 
Prederirfi, Henry 
Furman, Raef 
Gardner, Jam«s 
Garrison, Joseph 
&oetchius, Abriahani 
Gornee, Elias 
Gornee, John 
Gornee, Stephen, Jr., 
Graham, John 
Gross, Peter 
Gurnee, IsaSah 
Gurnee, Stephen, Jr., 
Hadley, Fredick 
Hadley, Stephen 
Halsted, John 
Bansua, Jacob 
Bause, William 
Heirs, Phelix 
Hendrickson, John 



Concklin, Henry 
Concklin, Nicholas W. 
Conckling, Aron 
Conckling, Joseph II. 
Conckling, Michael 
Conckling, Stephen 
Conklin, Gabriel 
Conklin, Joseph 
Conklin, Michael 
Cooper, Albert 
Cooper, Garret 
Cooper, John 
Cooper, Wohert 
Cornwell, William 
Cot, John 
Crom, William 
Crowler, John 
Crumb, Peter 
Culson, rVlerander 
Curren, Gilbert 
Debaim, David 
Degraw, John 
Demaresit, David 
Demaireist, Pdtrus 
Depue, Cornelius 
Deronde, Hendrick 
Deronde, Henry I. 
Dekins, Thomas 
Dunbar, Amos 
Dyckens, Richard 
Eckers'on, Dirk 
Eitea-gee, Mrchael 
Evermore, John 
Fowler, Gilbert 
Fredenburgh, Abram 
Frederich, Robert 
Furshie, John 
Garrison, Abra;ham 
Garrison, Peter 
Goetschius, John 
Gornee, IsaJaii 
Gornee, Stephen 
Goutc.hen, Joseph 
Green, Patrick 
Gurnee, Frtancis 
Gurnee, John 
Outches, Abm. 
Hadley, George 
Halsited. Henry 
Halsted, Tirndthy 
Hansy, Abram 
Bayston. Joseph 
Hendrickson, Hendrick 
Herman, .Joseph 
Hogenkam, Gysbert 



SOLDIERS OF THE REVOLTION. 



163 



Hoag-liin<l, Willfam 

Holland, Tlicrailas 

Haog'lamd, John 

Hort'on, .Tames 

House, Ricba-rd 

Hoiiser, Henry 

Huffman, Harmanes 

Hunt, .Jaseph 

Hutohdns, Amos 

Immons, James 

Jeffers, Edward 

John, Peter 

Johnson, John, Jr., 

Jouse<n, Benjamin 
^Jones, Jacob 
^Tones, Joseph 

Juruill, Fran sis 

Kelly, Daniel 

Kerhoon, Samuel 

Kiesler, A. 

King:, Walter 

Kn'ap, James 

Knap, Jonas, 

Knapp, Abel 

Kuypert, Themiis 

Ivamb, ifartin 

Lawrence, David 

Lefay, Thomas 

Lewis, James 

Ivowry, Tobias 

Miabe, John 

Mabie, Abraham 

Mabie, Peiter 

McOarter, Peter 

M)a(rtdne, .Tohn 

Maybie, Jesper 

Mefoy, .Tames 

Meyer, .Tacob 

Morgan, David 

Mott, Jacob 

Mountain, Andrew 

Meyer, Garreit 

Meyers, Johti 

Oblenis, Peter 

Odle, Nathaniel 

Onderdonok, Adri'ance 

Onderdonck. Aron 

Onderdonck, Gairrit 

Onderdon<-k. .Tohn 

Osborn, William 

Parker, .Tacob 

Parse!. William 

Paul, James 

Perril, JohaiiniJs 

Persell, Jaoo'b 



Hill'aman, Nichlolas 
Holdron, Andrdes 
Holstead, Edword 
Hoppen, Renard 
House, Cornelius 
House, IJenard, Sr., 
Howard, Richard 
Hunt, Gilbert 
HunJt, Reuben 
Hutson, John 
Iseman, John 
Jersey, Peter 
Johnson, Gisbert 
Johnson, Thomas 
Jones, Edward 
Jones, John 
Jones, William 
Ivahoon, Samuel 
KeJly, Dennis 
ICieslar, Philip 
King, Arie 
Kislor, HermaTius 
Knap, Jared 
Knap, Lebbeuis 
Knapp, Silas 
Damb, Alexander 
Lamb, Pomp 
Laiwrence, George 
Lent, Jacob 
Linkleten, James 
L.^Tioh, Jiames 
Mabee, .Teremiah 
Mabde, Oasparus 
Mabie, Peter Charles 
Magee, John 
Marvin, Elihu 
Mead, .To el 
Megee, John 
Mier, Cornelius 
Morris, David 
Moitt, Mordica 
Meyer, Abraham 
Meyer, Jeams 
Nosfrrand, Thomas 
O'Brien, .Tohn 
Onderdonck, Abraham 
Onderdonck, Albert 
Onderdonck, Isaac 
Onderdonck, Thomas 
Osborn, Benjaimin 
Palmer, .TonaJthan 
Parker, John 
Parsell, .Tohanines 
Paulding, Cornelius 
Perry, Jacoibus 



Ho'llaral, John 
Hoisted, Edmond 
Hopper, Paul 
House, John 
House, Renard, Jr., 
IhifE, Gershom 
Hunt, Gilliad 
Hunt, Samuel 
Hutton, John 
.Tennyks, Hendrick 
Jinkings, Arie 
.Tohnson, John 
.Tohnston, John 
.Tones, Isaac 
Jones, .Tonas 
.Tons on. Shepherd 
Kelly, Carpenter 
Kelly, Thomas 
Kiesler, A. 
King, Jacob 
Knap, Benjamin 
T\nap, Jeremiah 
Knap, Samuel 
Kruffen. .Tacob 
Krum, Peter 
Lamb, Jacou 
Lane, Henry 
Leaj-craft, William 
Lent, John 
Linklettor, James 
Lyons, Samuel 
Mabee, .Tohn Peter 
Mabie, Cornelius 
Mabde, Yoast 
Mian, George 
Maitthews, Samuel 
Meeks, .Toseph 
Mekes, Joseph 
Montanye, John 
Motit, Charles 
Motit, Salvembs 
Meyer, Daniel 
Meyers, Andrew 
Oblenis, Henry 
Ockerman, David 
Onderdonck, Adrawon 
Onderdonck. Andrds 
Onderdionck. .Tames 
Onderdonck, Henry 
Osborn. .Tohn 
Parker, Isaac 
Parker, PeJt«r 
Parselil, .Tohn 
Paulding, Garret 
Perry, Urin 



164 



HISTORY OP ROCKLAND COUNTY. 



PhillipB, Eli 
Polaisketr, Anlfhony 
Polheraus, Jolon 
Post, Is'aac 
Poulhairms, Hanclniek 
Quockenbos, Reynard 
Quaekinbush, James 
Ramsen, Garret 
Reader, Josiah 
Remsen, John 
Rider, Conrad 
Roberteon, Jesse 
Root, William 
RoseTelt, Joseph 
Ryker, Hendrick 
Salsar, Micol 
Sauven, GanrSs 
Seaman, Po^vlis 
SeCaur, Benjamin 
Secanr, Samiiel 
Secor, Daniel 
Seoor, Jacob 
Secor, Jonas 
Servant, Adrian 
Se r V r o n, A'briah a m 
Shay, Paitrick 
Shourt, Lewi 
Sickels, John 
Smit, AlbPam 
Smith, Adam 
Smith, David 
Smith, GHarret 
Smith, John 
Smith, Pdteir 
Smith, Samuel 
Snyder, Abraham 
Snyder, Peter 
Springisteen, David 
'SiJringsiteen, John 
Stag-g, .John 
Stephenson, Stephen 
Stephens, Stephen 
Stevens. Albert 
Steward, James 
Stirant, J'acob 
Talenilan, Gerrdt 
Tall man, Ha.rmanas 
Tallman, William 
Tarneur, Woodhnl 
Ta\'lo'r, Abner 
Taylor, .Tonathan 
Taylor, Willi'am 
Tenure. .Tohn 
Tenyck, Joihn 
Thew, John , 



PeiHsell, Paul 
Phillips, Gilbert 
Polhamus, Abraham 
Po^st, Abraiham 
Post, Isaiac Abraham 
Pouhamus, Theodorus 
Quackenbos, Ryn^ar 
Remsen, Abram 
Ramson, George 
Remsen, Auirt 
Rej-nolds, Abraham 
Rider, Josiah 
Robino, Joseph 
Rose, Jacoib 
Runnekls, Benjamin 
Ryker, James 
Slalyer, Edward 
Seamian, Caleb 
Seanions, John 
Secaur, Jacob 
Secor, Andrew 
Secor, Is'oiac 
Secor, James 
Sector, Samuel 
Ser^•lant, Henry 
Sharp, .Taimes 
Sherwood, David 
Shonrt, Hendrdck 
Simmons, Paul 
Smith, Abert 
Smith, Cornelius 
Smith, Edward 
Smith, Islaac 
Smith, John C. 
Smith, Reynard 
Smith, Stephen 
Snyder, Hendrick 
Spiiieg, Gideon 
Sp'rin'gsteen, Isaiac 
Springisteen, Samiuel 
Stiaig-fir, Paul 
Stephens, Peter 
Stephens, Stephen A. 
Stei%-«ns, Resiolvenit 
Storm, Abraham 
String-hiam, William 
Tallman, Abraham 
Tallman, John 
Talnran, Theunis H. 
Tamnr, .TameS 
Taylor, Jeiams 
Taylor, Joshuia 
Teneur, Johannes 
Tenure, Odl€ 
Thew, Garret 



PhillipB, Daniel 
Pierston, James 
Polhemus, Aurt 
Post, Daniel 
Post, .Xohn 
Quockemboos, Riner 
Quackenboss, Abram 
Ramsen, Aurt 
Read, Peter 
Remsen, Johannes 
Re_^Tn'olds, Benjamin 
liiker, Henry 
Rodg:ers, Justu-s 
Rose, John 
Ryker, Abraham 
Ryker, Matthew 
Salyer, William 
Seaman, Joseph 
Seamons, Paul 
Secaur, .Tames 
Secor, Benjamin 
Secor, Isaac I. 
Secor, James E. 
Servant, Abraham 
Servant, Phdllip 
Shaw, Patrick 
Sh'onrt, Adolph 
Shurt, Henry 
Smetih, Garret 
Smith, Aljraham 
Smith, Cornelius C. 
Smiith, Frederick 
Smith, James 
SmitQi, Niathaniel 
Smith, Reyniere 
Snedeker. Tunis 
Snyder, HeTmanes 
Spring'steel, Isaac 
Springsteen, Johannes 
Springsteen, Stauglubs 
Stamford, David 
Stephens, Rulif 
Stephens, William 
Stevens, Stephanes 
Stott, William 
Talema, Theunis 
Tallman. Dowey 
Tallnilan, Peter 
Talman, Thomas 
Taulman. Harmh 
Taylor, John 
Taylor, Moses 
Tenieyke, Hendrick 
Tenyck, Jacob 
Thew, Gilbert 



SOLDIERS OF THE REVOLUTION. 



16S 



Thompson, William 
lUeboiiit, Heniry 
Tiinlvee, Cooonro 
Tirneir, Michael 
Tonyke, .Jacob, Jr., 
Tourneud, Jlam.es 
Trumper, Theunis 
Tuit.ler, Daniel 
Valentine. Peter 
Van Bnskirk, George 
Van Cleft. Garret 
VianrTJeEeTtTTJerick 
VanderbeW, .John 
Van Dervoiort, .John St., 
Van Der Voort, Pavd 
Van Dyke, John 
Van Houten, Abraham 
Van Hooiten, Ivlaas 
Van Houten, Thunis 
Vanorden, Andrais 
Van Order, Andreis 
Van Sickle, Daniel 
Venalo, Oorme.lius 
Verv^aJen, James 
Vouck, Peter 
Waldroni, .Jacob 
Waldrom, John 
Walker, .John 
Waita maker, Peter 
Wcffg'in, To'biais 
Westervelt, Abr'aham 
\Vester\-elt, Pe'ter 
Williams, Gilbert 
W'illiiamson, Nicholas 
Willson, Andrew 
Wilson, Uriah 
Woo<l, Heairy 
Wood, Samuel 
Young', Frederick 
Zo den pah, John 



Thiell, .Jacob 
Tice, .John 
Tilt, Williajn 
Tinkee, .John 
Tinmer, Hanry 
Tormeur, .James 
Tournneur, .Tames 
Tunre, Woodhull 
Underdonck, Koiilof 
Van Antwei-^), Dti.niel 
Van Cleck, Jacobus 
Vandarbeek, David 
Vanderbelt, Dow'ah 
Vander \'oort, Barent 
Van Dervoort, John 
Vander voort, Pe'ter 
\'lan Hoout'an, Deiiick 
Van Htoutien, Charles 
Van Houten, Pester 
■^'an Orden, Hendrick 
Vanorden, Jacobus 
Van Order, Peter 
Vardassen, Johannis 
Venhooisen, John 
Vervalin, James 
Voonhis, Stephen 
Waldnrn, .Jamets 
Waldron, Edwiard 
Wallace, .John 
Wandle, Jacob 
Welch, Richard 
Westervelt, Oasparus 
Whitit'en, .Joseph 
Williams. .Tosiah 
\\'Iillon, Andrew 
Willson, .Tameis 
Woldrom, Jacob 
Wood, .Jaicoib 
Wool-sey, .Jacob 
Znniker, I/odourik 



Thompson, 

Tdebomt, George 
Tinkeer, Coonrod 
Tinkey, Jacob 
Tonure, Lowramee 
Toun, John 
Tremper, JViimes 
Turnere. Lawrence 
Vaber, John 
Van Antwerp, John 
Van Cler, Garret 
^1an Derbelt, Cornelius 
Vanderbelt, .James 
Van Dervo'ort, Garret 
Van Dervoort, .Jonas 
Van Dolson, .Jacobis 
Van Houghen, .John 
Van Houten, .John 
^'an Houten. Samuel 
\Tan Ordee. Hendrick 
Van Orden, .John 
Van Order, Hendrick 
Vellte, William 
Vervalen, Cornelius 
VerVeelen, .JIacobus 
Wagoner, Tobias 
Wlaldrom, .Janis 
Waldron, John 
Wanam'aker, Adolph 
Warrin, Theodores 
Weiss.els, Richard 
Westervelt, Daniel 
Wickham, Warren 
Williamson, .Jeremiali 
W^illBey, .James 
Wilson, Albert 
Woiod, Ebenezer 
Wood, .Joseph 
Youmans, Samuel 



CONTINENTALS-1775. 

A MUSTER ROLL OF THE MEN RAISED AND P.\iSSED MUSTER IN THE 
COUNTY' OF ORAJ^GE FOR CAPTAIN JOHNSTON'S COMPANY, 4TH 
AUGUST, 1775. RAISED AT ORANGETOWN. ROBERT JOHNSTON, CAP- 
TAIN. LIEUTENANTS, JOHN MAURITIUS, GOETSCHIUS, PHILIP 

DUBOIS BEVIER. 



Martin, William 
McQueen, Philip 
Oarnuchael, Peter 
Clark, John 
Stephens, Rntt.es 
Ilouser, Andreu- 



Ackers on, .John 
Lefiler, .John 
Osborn, .John 
Monnell, Jsaae 
Cable. Andrew 
lUauvclt, Abraham 



Miller, ZephaniaJi 
Eabcock, David 
Bradley, Cornelius 
Ferg-uBon, Thomas 
Ackerman, Ediie 
Ward, Daniel 



166 



HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 



Jackas, Thomas 
Banks, Steplien 
VanKeimpen, Abram 
Cooper, .T'Oihii 
Garritsor, Samuel 
Coe, Joiin D. Sr. 
Cooper, Jialm C. 
Cooper, Abram 
Mott, Mordica 
Cone, EdwTard 
Fowler, Jaibez 
Fiiayer, Eioto'ert 
ConeMe, Joliii. 
Teriieur. James 
Haillste'ad, Jacob 
Town, Timothy 
Bnrg-es, Peter 
Stuert, John 



Yeioraans, William 
Ackerson, Thomias 
IJogiard, John 
Conklin, Samuel 
Piarker, DanSel 
Cole, Garret 
Odle, Tompkins 
Mott, Jacob 
McVey, John 
Biirg'es, James 
Van Zail, Eg-bert 
Wood, Josei>h 
Secaur, Isaac 
Haycock, Jolhn 
ifilchier, Pawleis 
Condum, Darid 
Kdsler, Harmanus 
Jeffei'. John 



Ackerson, Benjamin 
Kelly, Thomas 
Seco-ur, James 
Ellison, John 
Conlklin, Stephen 
Belan, Pet^r 
Morg-an, David 
Ellison, Peter 
HufEmam, David 
Warren, Edward 
Smith, Cornelius Jr., 
Eilison, John 
Trump, oimon 
Xicks, Cornelius 
Spring^teel, John 
Dawson, Eichard 
Ellison, Thomas 
Alver, Thomas 



CONTINENTALS--1776. 

MUSTEK ROLL OF THE SECOND COMPANY OF THE FIFTH REGIMENT, 
NEW YORK CONTINENTAL LINE. AMOS HUTCHINS, OF HAVERSTRAW, 
CAPTAIN. LEWIS DUBOIS, COLONEL. 

Hutc-hinis, Amos, Captain^ Nov. 21. ,70; reisigned May 9, '78. 

Jackson, Paltten First Ldent., Nov. 21, '76; missing Oct. G, '77; exchiang'ed 
Feb., '81. 

Furman, John, Little Esopus, Second Lieut., Nov. 21, '76; captured at Port 
Montgomery; exchanged, '81; mustered to Jiin., '82. 

Stocker, Selt.h, Orderly Sergeant, Newburgih, Feb. 12. '77, to Jan., '82. 

Pride, James, Serg-eant, Marlboroug-h, Aug. 12, '76; three years. 

Gain, Feb. 1, '77; missing Oct. 0, "77; jodmed. 

Eobdnson, Jameis, Sergeant, Aug. 6, '77; three years. 

ConckMn^ Samuel, Corporal, Baverstraw, Feib. 18, '77; taken at Fort Mont- 
gfomery; died in prison. 

Allison, John, Corporal, to Jan., '81. 

Factor, John Drummer, to Jan., '82. , 

Allen, Jasper, fife, Feb. 8, '77; died April 14, '80. 

Oliark, Dec. 19, '76; died Mar. 15, '77. 

Clark, Dec. 19, '76; died Mar. 15, '77. 

Rhodes, Joseph, Dec. 25, '76, to Jan., '82. 

Robinson, Benjamin, Dec. 25, '76, to Aug-., '77. 

Rose, John, CMrkstown; enlisted early in '77 for nine m-onrtihs; re-enlisted 
in Col. Graham's for nine montJis; re-enlisted in Col. Bayley's Honse for one 
year, th&n in Captain La-wrence's and Col. J. Harper's; taken prisoner at 
Lake Onondaga Oct. 18, '80; exchang-ed. May, '83. 

Cooper, John, Baverstraw, Jan. 1, '77; transferred to Capit. Graihl.am's Sec- 
ond N. Y.; died of wounds at Albany, Feb. 9, '78. 

Lang-don, Samuel, Jan. 1, '77, to Nov., '79. 

Lattimer, Benjamin, Jan. 1, '77; missing Oct. 6, '77; joined, served to 
Nov., '79. 

Lattimer, Rog-er, Jian. 1, '77, to Jan., '80. 

Travis, Scot, Jan. 10, '77; missing Oct. 0, '77; joined to Jan., 82. 

Brush, Eliakinis, Jan. 8, "77; missing-, Oct. 6, '77. 

Richards, Philip, June 14, '77, to April 10, '83. 



< 



SOL,DIERS OF THE REVOLUTION. 167 

Titus, James, Jan. 16, '77, to Nov., '79. 

Rhodes, Cormelius, Feb. 1, '77; missing Oct. 6, '77 
Sears, Francis, Haverstraw, Feb., '77; taken prisoner at Fort Montgom- 
ery; in to Jan., '82. 

Bunker, William, Feb., '77; missing Oct. 6, '77. 

.Vokertion, Cornelius. Feb. 11, '77; three years. Corporal; missing Oct. 0, 
rejoined, mustered Sergeaot, Nov., '79; Lieuteniant, to Jfen., '80. 

Allison, John, Corporal, Feb. 12, '77, to Jan., '82. 

Bunker, Lam-ence, Feb. 13, '77, to Nov., '79. 

Garrison, Samuel, Sr., Haverstraw, Feb. 12, '77; taken prisoner at Fort 
Montgomery; died in New York prison. 

Cooper, Abram, Feb. 28, '77, to April 19, '78. 

Marks, George, Havenstriaiw, Mar. 1, '77; diisohairged at Havensitraw Mlay 1, 
'80. 

Outhouse, Israel, April 1, '77; missing Oat. 6, '77. 

Crum, Hermanius, HaverstPaw, April 8, '77; taken prisoner at Fort Mont- 
gomery; died in prison. 

Orum, Jacob, April 14, '77; died Dec., '77. 

Cooper, Eiichiard, May 14, '77; iserved three years. 

Conklin, Thomas, May 20, '77; taken prisoner at Fort Montgomery; died an 
prison. 

Veomans, Benjamin, May 20, '77 to June, '78. 

Hopper, Peter, June 10, '77. to .Tan. '82. 

Falron, John, June, '77; missing Oct. 6, '77. 

Secor, ,Tohn, Corporal, June 26, '77, to Dec. 3, '80. 

.Tones, Joseph, July 6, '77. to Jan., '82. 

Btibcock, Abm., July 9, '77, to April 1, '78. 

Eabcock, Elisha, July 12, '77; missing, Oct., '77. 

Ten Eyck, Joseph, substitute for Peter Bogardus, Aug. 25, '77; missing 
Oct. 6, '77; rejoined to Jan., '82. 

Adams, Ephraim, miissing Oct. 6, '77. 

Drake, Francis, missing Oct. 6, '77. 

Murphy, Edwlard, Nov., '77 to 

Cli"i'-,e, Caleb, Nov. 25, '77, to Fe'b. 7, '78. 

Yeomans, Isaac, Nov. 5, '77, to Feb. 7, '78. 

McDerinott, Francis, May 18, '79; nine months. 

Ellteion, John, CorpoPal, Feb. 12, '77, to Jan., '82. 

MILITIA— LO^VEK (ORANGETOWN) REGIMENT. 
Colonel, Abraham Lent, resigned March 26, '76 
Lieut.-Colonel, Joh's David BlauveUt, resigned Feib. 27, '77. 
Firsit Major, Jo'h's .T. Blauvelt. 
.S'econd Major, Abram David Blauvel't. 
Adjutant, Jacobus De Clark. 
Quiartermaster, Isaac Perry. 

SOUTHERN COMPANY. 
Oaptain Joh's Jacob Blauvelt. 
First Lieut., .Tames Lent. 
Second Lieut., James Smith. 
Enisign Hendrick Van den Linde Verbryck. 

EASTERN COMPANY. 
OaprtJain Joseph Bell. 
First In'eait., .Tohn Sitcher. 
Second Lieut., WilBam Graham. 
Ensign Daniel Ondeird'onck. 



168 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

NORTHERN COMPANY. 
Captaini IsaJac Smith. 
First Lieut., John Isaac Blauvelt. 
Second Lieut., WilHajn Sickleis. 
Ensign Lambert Smith. 

John Haring wats Brigade Major to General Georg'e Clinton 1770-7. 
P. Taulman wias Captain dn Moylan's PonrtJh Lig'Iut Drag'oonis; formerly 
Lieut., Sappers and Miners. 

Oonimiittee of Conspiracdes — Gilbert Cooper, Thomas Moffat, HenTy WisneT. 
References: New York State Archives. 



CHAPTEK XIII. 

CLOSE OF THE WAR. 
Readjustment of Count}' Lines — Increase of Popudation — Militia C'oni])aii- 
ies Before the Civil War — Regiments Orgajiiized During 'the Civil War^Tians- 
]««rtJiition — County Oihcere. 

THE precincts of Orangetown, Ilavcrstraw, Goshen and Cornwall 
constituted the political divisions of the county of Orange until 
March, 1788, when by a general law, entitled "An Act for divid- 
ing the counties of this State into to^\^ls," the title of precinct was 
cliauged to that of town in these four cases. At the same time the 
towns of Warwick and Minisink were set apart from Goshen. In 17!)1 
the towns of Clarkstown and Ramapo were erected, from territory that 
was embraced in the precinct of Ilaverstraw. With the close of the 
Avar of the Revolution, a period of rapid growth and material prosperity 
began for the county. The establishing of a republican form of gov- 
ernment, based on equality of rights and religious and civil liberty, 
attracted thousands of people, mainly from the British Isles. The rich 
fanning lands along the ITud.son river valley, and especially in Orange 
county, were in large demand. By 1700 the population of the cotmty 
had increased to 18,492. The precinct of Haverstraw was the most pop- 
idous, having 4,S2f> inhabitants; Cornwall was next with 4,225; War- 
wick, 3,G03; Goshen, 2,448; Minisink, 2,215; Orangeto\\Ti, 1,175. The 
circumstances which led to a readjustment of county lines are too well 
knoMai and apparent to he related here except in brief fomi. The pro- 
ceeding was not extraordinary or tmusual, such rearrangements of boun- 
daries form part of the history of most counties, and the only regret in 
this case is that the original name was not retained by the section 
entitled to hold it, with all its precious historical associations. For this 



MAiP 
ieVILLA€E 

Of 

TAPPAN NY 




REFERENCES- _l 


o* t 


ffeft'^erf Crturcrt 




P»i-iO'^tft 




Was'-xgle,', Hnaqiia'tTx 




■re StonaMo^se. 




WritSfeTOISrAr.o- 




S-fr otAxait's L lefufon 


1 5'ie ofAso'ti a^Ave | 



An'irf's roulf w.is froto ). X.irlli. lo Uic nm.l In OH Tappan, tbeBC« VJttt. to ihe firit rmtt 



CLOSE OF THE WAR. 169 

reason the stranger and the youthful reader of general history does not 
at first realize all the honor wluch belongs to Rockland county. 

The inconveniences connected with a high range of mountains 
extending across the county were appreciated from the first, especially 
by the settlers on the north side, and as the population increased meas- 
ures of accommodation were framed. Thus it was that Orange county 
came to have two places for holding courts. Although there was some 
little sectional feeling, Orange county might have continiied as it stood 
with two half-shire towns, had it not been for exterior influences. The 
people of Southern Ulster were dissatisfied. They were required to 
transact their biisiness at Kmg-ston, and it was jiist as inconvenient for 
the people of Xew Windsor, NewbTirgh and Montgomery (together with 
the southern sections of Marlborough, Shawangiink and Wallkill), to 
transact their court business in Kingston, as for the people of Cornwall 
and Miiiisink to come to Oraugetown. A court house at N^ewburgh 
would accommodate the people of both northern Orange and southern 
Ulster, and the village of Newburgh was greatly desirous of being n 
county seat. These various circiunstances and conditions combined to 
sunder old ties. A union of the towns of northern Orange ^vitll the 
southern tier of to^\^^s of Ulster was long the subject of agitation. A 
convention of delegates from the towns interested in that phase of the 
movement was held at Ward's Bridge (now Montgomery village) on the 
6th of April, 1793. Nothing was definitely settled by the meeting. 
Goshen was not averse to becoming the sole capital of a new county, 
but was disinclined to divide the honor with Newburgh. Biit upon no 
other condition woidd Xewburgh consent to a union. In Fel)i-uary, 
1794-, a second convention met at the house of John Decker at Otterkill. 
Sectional interests were at war again. Goshen's ambition to be the sole 
capital of a county was frustrated by the declaration of the Newburgh 
delegates, under instructions, that they would consent to no imion at all 
that would not bestow county-seat privileges upon their village. This 
terminated negotiations for the time being. Three years later, in 1797, 
a third convention, similarly constituted, assembled at Kerr's hotel, in 
Little Britain, when conflicting interests were harmonized and it was 
agreed that courts should be held at Newburgh and Goshen alternately, 
and then the proposition for the new county was ratifled. 

Two bills were presented to the Legislature in the winter of 1797-8. 
One was entitled, "An Act for Dividing the County of Orange," the 



170 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

other, "An Act for Altering the Counties of Orange and Ulster." The 
first bill was passed on the 23rd of February, and provided: "That all 
that tract of land in the county of Orange, lying northwest of a line 
beginning at Poplopen's kill, on Hudson's river, and nnming thence to 
the southeastemiost comer of the fann of Stephen Sloat, and thence 
along the south bounds of his farm to the southwest corner thereof, and 
thence on the same course to the bounds of the State of New Jereey, 
shall be and hereby is erected into a separate county, and shall be called 
and known by the name of Orange." The new county thus set off should 
in jiistice have received a new name, leaving the ancient and historical 
name to the part better entitled to it, but the sentiment of the times and 
the influence of other sections concerned served to fix upon the terri- 
tory south of the mountain the new name of "Rockland." The people 
of this county were generally satisfied with the division. 

Tlie second bill was passed on the 5th of April, and provided "that 
the towns of New Windsor, Newburgh, Wallkill, Montgomerv' and 
Deei-park, now in the county of Ulster, shall be and hereby are annexed 
to the county of Orange." 

Peace and prosperity have ever attended the county of Rockland. 
Her population and wealth have steadily increased. Starting with four 
townships only one more has been added: Stony Point was set off from 
Haverstraw in 1865. Though the soil of the county has never since 
the Revohition been ravaged by war, though armies have never con- 
tended in fierce combat for the possessions of her fortresses, the sons of 
Rockland performed the full measure of their duty in the second war 
with England, and in the Mexican, the Civil and Spanish wars. On 
Septeml>er 3, 1814, a company of militia under Captain Jacob I. Blau- 
velt sailed from Tappan Landing, and another under Captain John 
Snedeker sailed from Haverstraw for New York, and were on duty there 
until November 29, when they returned home. Rockland county also 
contributed her qiiota of men to an artillery battalion raised in tliis Sen- 
atorial district, then composed of Rockland, Orange, Dutchess and Ulster 
counties. The battalion was on duty for a few months in 1814, at New 
York and vicinity. During the Mexican war a cavalry company, called 
the "Rockland County Rangers," was organized, but was not called into 
the national service. This company continued in existence for many 
years, and was on duty for two days and a night during the ITaverstraw 
riot of 1853. 



CL,OSE OF THE WAR. 171 

Before the Civil War tlie militia companies in the county fonned 
part of the Seventeenth Regiment of the New York State militia. To 
this regiment belonged the Wayne Guards of Haverstraw, Company C 
of Piermont, Company D of Stony Point, Company F (Ingold Guai-ds) 
of Havei-straw, Company I of Ramapo township, and the "Rockland 
County Rangers," of ISTyack and Clarkstown. The last review of the 
regiment was at Verplanck's Point on October 21, 1862. 

In 1863, under a State law for the raising of a militia regiment in 
every Assembly district, seven companies were organized in this county, 
the whole being known as the Fifty-Seventh Regiment, John S. Har- 
ing, Colonel; John S. Stephens, Lieut.-Colonel. The regiment was dis- 
banded a few years after the war. Company B (16th Battalion) was the 
last militia company in the history of the county. It was disbanded De- 
cember 17, 1881. Its headquarters was at Nyack. It was on duty for a 
week at Haverstraw, in May, 1877, preserving the peace after some riot- 
ing, and was quartered at the United States Hotel. In the summer of 
the same year the company was on duty at the annoiy from July 24tli to 
August 2, on accoimt of railroad strikes and disorders. 

In the Civil War Nyack sent a company to the front on May 9, 1861. 
This was Company G of the Seventeenth Regiment, a regiment mainly 
recruited in Westchester county, and called the Westchester Chasseurs. 
James H. Demarest was the first captain. Haverstraw sent away the 
De:N"oyelles Guards (Captain Edward Pye), October 16, 1861, to be- 
come Company F of the jSTinety-Fifth Regiment, and on November 21 
of the same year, she gave another noble band, the Stephens Guards 
(Captain A. F. Ingold), which became Company B of the Ninety-Fifth 
N. Y. Volunteers. On December 5 Captain Dominick Kennedy 
left Haverstraw with twenty-seven recruits for the Ninety-Fifth 
Regiment, and at later periods men left Haverstraw to join the 
Fifth New York, the Irish Bi-igade, and the Ninety-fifth N. Y. and 
other ragiments. Nyaok contributex:] forty-three men to companies 
A and B of the 127th Regiment. The Sixth N. Y. Artillery, mustered 
at Yonkers, September 2, 1862, received nearly a hundred members 
from Rockland county, and the Sixty-fifth New York took ten of her 
boys. In 1863 the Seventeenth Regiment, N. Y. S. M., was ordered 
to the froTit to defend Washington, and was on garrison duty at Fort 
Independence and Fort, McIIenry for a fortnight or less. Recruits for 



172 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

volunteer regiments came from all the towns in the county to join the 
companies raised in Ilaverstraw and Xyack heretofore refen-ed to and 
also other companies. During the war the women of the county also 
did their duty, and their societies, especially at Nyack, Haverstraw and 
Piennont, sent many boxes of supplies to the men on the firing lines. 
Branches of the Loyal League were organized at Haverstraw and Nyack. 
Kockland county's quota under the first draft was 204; of the conscripts 
six only served in person. Under the second draft the county's quota 
was 221 — Ilaverstraw 91, Orangctown 56, Clarkstown 38, Kamapo 37. 
Third draft — Haverstraw 194, Ramapo 112. Fourth draft — Haver- 
straw 136, Orangetown 107, Ivamapo 81, Clarkstown 82. Each of the 
towns met in full all the calls upon it, excei^t Haverstraw. In all, llock- 
land actually furnished 558 men for the war, divided among the towns 
as follows: Haverstraw 198, Ramapo 163, Orangetown 123, Clarks- 
town 64. Of these, 89 gave up their lives. 

Rockland county has contributed to as well as shared in tiie material 
progress of the times. Apart from agriculture and commerce, quan-y- 
ing and mining were early industries in the county. The quarrying 
industry centered at Nyack, and by 1820 had reached large proportions. 
There were over thirty quarries in the vicinity of Nyack. Tlic next 
considerable branch of industry was represented by the iron works in 
the Ramapo valley; these contributed to the prosperity of the whole 
county in a large degree. Brick-making began at Haverstraw in 1815, 
that place has been the national leader in the business for nearly seventy- 
five yeare; inventions which have revolutionized the methods of man- 
ufacture originated there. The constniction of the fine turnpike from 
Xyack to Suffem, begun in 1830, was a very important public improve- 
ment, of great advantage to the Ramapo valley as well as to Nyack, but 
not favored by Haverstraw, which through it lost considerable back 
country trade. Steamboating had just begim at this period, and the 
combined effect of the two entei"prises made the port of Nyack a very 
busy one. The steamboat Orange, Captain John M. White, Jr., made 
its first trip between Nyack and New York on the 5th of IMay, 1828. In 
1830 the Orangetown Point Steamboat Company organized and com- 
menced the construction of the st-eamboat Rockland, which began run- 
ning tlie folloA\ang year between Orangetown Point and New York. 
Haverstraw, not to be oiitdone, organized a steamboat company also and 



CLOSE OF THE WAR. 173 

l)uilt the Warren, which, starting from Haverstraw on alternate morn- 
ings, at 11 o'clock, landed at Snedeker's, Slaughter's, Nyack, Sncden's 
Closter and Huyler's. The Aitow began running from Ilavci-straw 
in competition with the Warren, in 1838. 

The steamboat was not long come when another gi-eat aid to trans- 
portation appeared — ^the railroad. Tappan landing, in this county, was 
selected for the eastern terminus of the Erie, and there a great pier a 
mile in length was built into the river to deep water. The name of the 
place was then changed to Piermont. The construction of the road was 
begun in 1838, and by 1841 the line was in operation between Goshen 
and Piermont, and from the great pier passengers were transfen-cd to 
steamboats. Piermont was an exceedingly prosperous callage until the 
Erie was extended to Jersey City, in 1852. Thereafter the section of 
road between Suffern and Piennont ceased to be the main line and 
became a branch. The Northern road, opened to Piemiont in 1859, 
the Nyack and Nortliem in 1870, the ~Ke\v Jersey and Xew York to 
Haverstraw in 1875, and the West Shore in 1883, added to and com- 
pleted the railroad facilities of the county. 

The first officers of the coimty of Rockland were: Supervisors — 
James Perry of Orangetown, Benjamin Coe of Haverstraw, Claus R. 
Van Houten, of Clarkstown, James Onderdonk of Ramapo. County 
Clerk, David Pye; County Judge, John Suffern; SuiTogatc, Peter Taul- 
man; Sheriff, Jacob Wood; Member of Assembly, Benjamin Coe. 

By the census of 1800, two 3'ears after the erection of the county, 
the population was as follows: Hempstead (Raniapo),l,981; Clarks- 
town, 1,806; Orangetown, 1,337; total, 6,353. 

In 1890 the county had a population of 35,162. In 1900 the cen- 
sus gave 38,298, divided as follows: 

1900. 1890. 

Clarkstown, including Upper N^yack village 6,305 5,216 

Upper ISTyack village 516 668 

Haverstraw town, including Havei-straw and West 

Haverstraw villages 9,874 9,079 

Haverstraw village 5,935 5,070 

West Haverstraw village 2,079 180 

Orangetown, including Nyack, Piermont and 

South Nyack villages 10,456 10,343 



174 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Nyack village 4,275 4,111 

Picrmont village 1,153 1,219 

South Nyack village 1,601 1,496 

liamapo town, including Hillburn and Suffem vil- 
lages 7,502 5,910 

Hillburn \'illage 824 

Suffem village 1,619 

Stony Point town 4,161 4,614 

COUNTY OFFICERS— 1902. 

Arthur S. Tompkins, CongTessman Nyack 

George Dickey, Member of Assembly Nyack 

Andrew X. Fallon, County Judge and Surrogate Piermont 

Fred S. Weiant, Sheriff Haverstraw 

Cyrus M. Criun, County Clerk New City 

William J. Randolph, County Treasurer Nyack 

Thomas H. Lee, District Attorney Stony Point 

Charles E. Sloat, Coroner Haverstraw 

Hammond Hicks, Coroner, Spring Valley 

Sylvester Demarest, Coroner Suffem 

James H. MoiTissey, Superintendent of the Poor Haverstraw 

Charles H. Zundel, Loan Commissioner Haverstraw 

Jonathan W. Sherwood, School Commissioner Spring Valley 

Joseph DeNoyelles, Clerk of Supervisors New City 

Richard S. Harvey, Clerk of Surrogate's Court Nyack 

SUPERVISORS FOR 1902. 

Alfred V. H. Clark, Clarkstown Nanuet 

Josiah Felter, Haverstraw Haverstraw 

Edwin Lydecker, Orangetown Nyack 

Frank S. Harris, Ramapo Suffern 

Alex. Rose, Stony Point Stony Point 

Clerk of Supervisors, Joseph DeNoyelles New City 

SENATORS FOR THIS DISTRICT. 
1848-48, Saxton Smith; 1850-51, Benjamin Brandreth; 1852-53, 
Abra.m B. Conger; 1854-55, "Wm. II. Robertson; 1856-57,John "W. Fer- 
dou; lS58-59,Benjamin Brandreth; 1860-63,H. D. Robertson; 1864-67, 



CLOSE OF THE WAR. 175 

Henry E. Low; 1868-71, Wiii. Cakhvell; 1872-81, Wiu. H. Robertson; 
1882,-87, Henry C. Nelson; 1888-91, Wm. H. Eobcrtson; 1892-93, 
Charles P. McClelland; 1894-97, Clarence Lexow; 1898-1903, Louis 
(Joodsell. 

MEMBERS OF ASSEMBLY. 

1798-9, Benjamin Coe; 1800, Samnel G. VerBryck; 1800-1, Sam- 
uel Q. VerBryck; 1802-3, Peter DeNoyelles; 1804, Samuel G. Ver- 
Bryck; 1804-5, Jolm Cole; 1806, John Haring; 1807-9, Samuel G. Ver- 
Bryck; 1810-15, Peter S. VanOrden; 1816, Cornelius A. Blauvclt; 
1816-17, Cornelius A. Blauvelt; 1818-19, Abram Gurnee; 1820, Sam- 
uel G. Verbryck; 1820-21, Abram Girniee; 1822, Cornelius Blauvelt; 
1823, John I. Suffem; 1824, Peter S. VanOrden; 1825, Abram Gur- 
uee; 1826, Abram Gurnee, Edward Suffem (Gurnee's seat was con- 
tested by Suffem, who was admitted January 27); 1827, Levi Shcr- 
>vood; 1828, Levi Sherwood; 1829-30, George S. Allison; 1831, Jolm 
I. Eckcrson; 1832, Isaac Blaiivelt; 1833, James D. L. Montanya; 1834, 
Daniel Johnson; 1835, Edward Suffem; 1836, Danid Johnson; 1837, 
Abram J. Demarest; 1838, David Clark; 1839, Benjamin Blackledge; 
1840, Wm. F. Frazer; 1841-2, Edward DeNoyelles; 1843, Cornelius 
M. Demarest; 1844, John Haring Jr.; 1845, Joseph P. Brower; 1846, 
Sampson Marks; 1847, John A. Haring; 1848, Lawrence J. Sneden; 
1849, Matthew D. Bogart; 1850, Brewster J. Allison; 1851, Jacob 
Sickles; 1852, John Demarest; 1853, Nicholas C. Blauvelt; 1854, John 
I. Suffern; 1855, John W. Ferdon; 1856, Edward Whitemore; 1857, 
James Westervelt ; 1858-9, "Wesley J. Weiant; 1860, Peter S. Yeury; 
1861, Wm. R. Knapp; 1862-4, James S. Haring; 1865, Prince W. 
Nickerson; 1866, Prince W. Nickereon; 1867, James Suffem; 1868, 
Thomas Lawrence; 1869, James Suffern; 1870-71, James M. Nelson; 
1872, Daniel Tompkins; 1873, Wm. Voorhis; 1874, Wm. R. Knapp; 
1875, James C. Brown; 1876-7, George W. Weiant; 1878, James M. 
Nelson; 1879-80, James W. Husted; 1880-1, John Cleary; 1883, Wm. 
H. Thompson; 1884-5, John W. Felter; 1886-7, George Dickey; 
1S88-9, Frank P. Demarest; 1890, Arthur S. Tompkins; 1891, Frank 
P. Demarest; 1892-3, Thomas Finegan; 1894-6, Otis H. Cutler; 1897, 
Fred L. Whritner; 1898-9, Irving Brown; 1900, Frank P. Demarest; 
1901, George Dickey. 



176 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

SUPEEVISOES. 

1857 — Aarou T. Polliannis, Clarkstown; Wesley J. Weiant, Hav- 
erstraw; Marcena M. Dickinson, Orangeto^vn; Peter P. Jersey, Eamapo. 

1858 — Isaac Tallman, Clarkstown; Wm. R. Knapp, Haverstraw; 
James S. Ilaring, Orangeto^vn; John Cruni, Kamapo. 

1859 — Isaac Tollman, Clarkstown; "Wm. R. Knapp, Haverstraw; 
James S. Ilaring, Orangctown; John Cram, Ramapo. 

1860 — James L. Conklin, Clarkstown; John L. DeXoyelles, Hav- 
erstraw; James S. Haring, Orangeto\vn; Henry R. Sloat, Ramapo. 

1861 — James L. Conklin, Clarksto^vn ; Prince W. ISTickerson, Hav- 
erstraw; James S. Haring, Orangetown; John B. Gurnee, Ramapo. 

1862 — John E. Hogenkamp, Clarkstown; Prince W. Nickerson, 
Haverstraw; John S. Ilaring, Orangctown; John D. Christie, Ramapo. 

1863 — John E. Hogenkamp, Clarkstown; Prince W. Kickereon, 
Haverstraw; Wm. Dickey, Orangetown; Erastus Johnson, Ramapo. 

1864 — Jolin E. Hogenkamp, Clarkstown; Prince W. Niekerson, 
Haverstraw; Wm. Dickey, Orangetown; Erastus Johnson, Rairiapo, 

1865 — John E. Hogenkamp, Clarkstown; John I. Cole, Haverstraw; 
James S. Haring, Orangetown; Andrew Smith, Ramapo; Wesley J. 
Weiant, Stony Point. 

1860 — John E. Hogenkamp, Clarkstown; John I. Cole, Haverstraw; 
James S. Haring, Orangetown; James Sutfern, Ramapo; Wesley J. 
Weiant, Stony Point. 

1867 — Peter T. Stephens, Clarkstown; John T. Cole, Haverstraw; 
James S. Hai-ing, OrangetoAvn; James Siiffern, Eamapo; Daniel Tomp- 
kins, Stony Point. 

1868— Peter T. Stephens, Clarkstown; Samuel C. Blauvelt, Haver- 
straw; James S. Haring, Orangetown; James Suffern, Eamapo; Fred- 
erick Tompkins, Stony Point. 

1869 — Tunis Blauvelt, Clarkstomi; Samuel C. Blauvelt, Haver- 
erstraw; James S. Hai-ing, Orangetown; James Suffern, Eamapo; Geo. 
W. Weiant, Stony Point. 

1870 — Tunis Blauvelt, Clarkstown; Samviel C. Blauvelt, Haver- 
straw; James S. Haring, Orangetown; George W. Suffern, Eamapo; 
George W. Weiant, Stony Point. 

1871 — Tunis Blauvelt, Clarkstown; Samuel C. Blauvelt, Haver- 
straw; James S. Haring, Orangetown; George W. Suffern, Eamapo; 
Wm. E. King, Stony Point. 



CLOSE OF THE WAR. 177 

1872 — Isaac VanlSTostrand, Clarkstown; Samuel C. Blauvelt, Hav- 
erstraw; Isaac M. Detlercr, Orangetown; Dvviglit B. Baker, Rainapo; 
Wm. E. King, Stony Point. 

1873 — Tunis Blauvelt, Clarkstown; Samuel C. Blauvelt, Hav- 
erstraw; Isaac M. Dederer, Orangetown; Dwight B. Baker, Ramapo; 
Wm. E. King, Stony Point. 

1874 — Nelson Stephens, Clarkstown; Samuel C. Blauvelt, Haver- 
straw; D. D. Demarest, Orangetown; Peter L. Van Orden, Ramapo; 
Wm. E. King, Stony Point. 

1875 — Nelson Stephens, Clarkstown; Henry Christie, Haverstraw; 
D. D. Demarest, Orangetown; Peter L. VanOrden, Ramapo; Wm. E. 
King, Stony Point. 

1876 — Nelson Stephens, Clarkstown; John W. Feltor, Haverstraw; 
Henry A. Blauvelt, Orangetown; Jacob Snider, Ramapo; H. Osborn, 
Stony Point. 

1877 — Isaac Van Nostrand, Clarkstown; John W. Felter, Haver- 
straw; Henry A. Blauvelt, Orangetown; George W. Suffern, Ramapo; 
H. Osbom, Stony Point. 

1878 — Isaac Van Nostrand, Clarkstown; John W. Felter, Haver- 
straw; Henry A. Blauvelt, Orangetown; George W. Suffern, Ramapo; 
Wm. E. King, Stony Point. 

1879 — Bame Van Houten, Clarkstown; John W. Felter, Haver- 
straw; John H. Blauvelt, Orangetown; George W. Suffern, Ramapo; 
Wm. E. King, Stony Point. 

1880 — Bame Van Houten, Clarksto\vn; Josiah Felter, Haverstraw; 
George Dickey, Orangetown; George W. Suffern, Ramapo; Fred Tomp- 
kins, Stony Point. 

1881 — Joseph G. Demai-est, Clarkstown; Josiah Felter, Haver- 
straw; George Dickey, Orangetown; George W. Suffern, Ramapo; Fred 
Tompkins, Stony Point. 

1882 — Joseph G. Demarest, Clarkstown; Josiah Felter, Haver- 
straw; Hagaman Onderdonk, Orangetown; Peter Tallman, Ramapo; 
Fred Tompkins, Stony Point. 

1883 — Frank P. Demarest, Clarkstown; Josiah Felter, Haverstraw; 
George Dickey, Orangetown; Peter Tallman, Ramapo; Fred Tomp- 
kins, Stony Point. 



178 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

1884 — Frank P. Demarcst, Clarkstown; Josiah Fclter, Haverstraw; 
George Dickey, Oi'angetoAvii ; Peter Tallman, Ramapo; Fred Tomp- 
kins, Stony Point. 

1885 — Frank P. Deniarest, Clarksto^\^l; Josiah Felter, Ilaveretraw ; 
George Dickey, Orangetown; Abram D. Blauvelt, Ramapo; Wm. K. 
Hammond, Stony Point. 

1886 — Frank P. Demarest, Clarkstown; Josiah Felter, Haverstraw; 
Henry E. Smith, Orangetown; Jacob Snider, Ramapo; Wni. K. Ham- 
mond, Stony Point. 

1887 — Frank P. Demarest, Clarkstown; Josiah Felter, Haverstraw; 
Andrew X. Fallon, Orangetown; Jacob Snider, Ramapo; Richard B. 
Marks, Stony Point. 

1888 — Frank P. Demarest, Clarkstown; Josiah Felter, Haverstraw; 
Andrew X. Fallon, Orangetown; Jacob Snider, Ramapo; Mordacai F. 
Washburn, Stony Point. 

1899 — Frank P. Demarest, Clarkstown; Josiah Felter, Haverstraw; 
Andrew X. Fallon, Orangetown; John C. Messimer, Ramapo; Richard 
B. Marks, Stony Point. 

1890 — Frank P. Demarest, Clarkstown; Josiah Felter, Haverstraw; 
Peter B. McGregor, Ramapo; Andrew X. Fallon, Orangetown; Richard 
B. Marks, Stony Point. 

1891 — Joseph DelSToyelles, Clarkstown; Andrew X. Fallon, Orange- 
town; Josiah Felter, Haverstraw; Peter B. McGregor, Ramapo; Alex. 
Rose, Stony Point. 

1892 — Joseph DeXoyelles, Clarkstown; C. V. A. Blauvelt, Orange- 
town; Josiah Felter, Haverstraw; T. Harry Ward, Ramapo; Fred W. 
Penny, Stony Point. 

1893 — Joseph DeNoyelles, Clarkstown; C. V. A. Blauvelt, Orange- 
to^vn; Josiah Felter, Haverstraw; T. HaiTy Ward, Ramapo; Fred W. 
Penny, Stony Point. 

1894 — Joseph DeNoyelles, Clarkstown; Josiah Felter, Haverstraw; 
Andrew X. Fallon, Orangeto^^^l ; T. Harry Ward, Ramapo ; Alex. Rose, 
Stony Point. 

1895 — Joseph DelvToyelles, Clarkstown; Josiah Felter, Haverstraw; 
Andrew X. Fallon, Orangetown; Warren Blanchard, Ramapo; Alex. 
Rose, Stony Point. 



CLOSE OF THE WAR. 179 

1896— Frank P. Demarest, Clarkstown; Josiah Felter, Haverstraw; 
Andrew X. Fallon, Orangetown; Abram D. Blauvelt, Ramapo; Alex. 
Rose, Stony Point. 

1897 — Frank P. Demarest, ClarkstOMTi; Josiah Felter, Haverstraw; 
Andrew X. Fallon, Orangetown; Abram D. Blauvelt, Ramapo; Alex. 
Rose, Stony Point. 

1898-9 — Frank P. Demarest, Clarkstown; Josiah Felter, Haver- 
straw; Andrew X. Fallon, Orangetown; Frank S. Harris. Ramapo; 
Alex. Rose, Stony Point. 

1900-1— Alfred V. H. Clark, Clarkstown; Josiah Felter, Haver- 
straw; James Van Weelden, Orangetown; Frank S. Harris, Ramapo; 
Alex. Rose, Stony Point. 

1902-3 — A. V. H. Clark, Clarkstown; Josiah Felter, Haverstraw; 
Edwin Lydecker, Orangetown; Frank S. Harris, Ramapo; Alex. Rose, 
Stony Point. 

COUNTY CLERKS. 
1G91, Dirk Stonn; 1703, Wm. Huddleston; 1721, GerardiLs Clows; 
1723, Thomas Pullen; 1726, Vincent Matthews, Cornwall; 1735, Ga- 
briel Ludlow, Jr.; 1736, Vincent Matthews; 1763, David Matthews; 
1794, Reuben Hopkins, Goshen; 1805, Abraham Comelison; 1808, 
Thomas Howard, Jr.; 1821, David Pye; 1828, James Stephens; 1832-4, 
David Pye; 1835-46, Abraham Hogenkamp; 1847-52, Isaac A. Blau- 
velt; Abram DeBaun, to fill vacancy of Isaac A. Blauvelt, to Dec. 31, 
1850; 1851-6, John E. Hogenkamp; 1857-68, Abram A. Demarest; 
Cyrus M. Ciiun, 1869; elected every three years to the present time. 
Term expires December 31, 1904. 

COUNTY JUDGES. 

1710, John Corbett; 1717, Peter Haring; 1720, Cornelius Haring; 
1733, Vincent Matthews; 1739, Abram Peter Haring; 1749, Abram 
Haring; 1769, Michael Jackson of Goshen; 1774, John Haring; 1775, 
John Coe; 1778, John Haring; 1798, John Suffren; 1806, James 
Perry; 1816, Samuel Goctchius; 1820, Edward Suffern; 1833 to 1847, 
Edward Suffem. 

SURROGATE. 

1807— Tunis Smith; 1808, Peter Taulman; 1810, Garret Onder- 



180 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

donk; 1811, Eichard Bkiivelt; 1820, Bernard O'Blenis; 1821, James 
Stevens; 1829, John Van Houten; 1837 Jolm J. Wood; 1841, George 
Benson; 1845, Horatio G. Prall. 

COUNTY JUDGE AND SURROGATE. 

1847-55, Wm. F. Frazer; 1856- 9, Edward Pye; 1860-'80, Andrew 
E. Snffem; 1880-81, Alonzo Wheeler; 1881, Seth B. Cole; 1882-'93, 
George W. Weiant; 1893, Wm. McCauley, Jr.; 1894-98, Arthnr S. 
Tompkins; 1899, Alonzo Wheeler; 1900-'06, Andrew X. Fallon. 

DISTRICT ATTORNEYS. 
1818, Edward Suffern; 1820, John T. Smith; 1833-'47, Wm. F. 
Frazer; 1847-'53, Horatio G. Prall; 1853-'59, Andrew E. Suffeni; 
18C0-'62, Thomas Lawence; 1863-8, M. M. Dickenson; 1869, L. V. E. 
Robinson; 1869, Wm. C. Prall; 1870-'72, Hiram B. Fenton; 1873-5, 
Seth B. Cole; 1876-8, M. M. Dickenson; 1879-'84, Alonzo Wheeler; 
1885-7, Abram A. Demarest; 1888-'90, Garret Z. Snider; 1891-'93, 
Wm. McCanley, Jr.; 1894-'96, Frank Comesky; 1897-8, Alonzo 
Wheeler; 1899, George A. Wyre;; 1900-'02, Thomas H. Lee. 

COUNTY TREASURERS. 

1855-'69, Matthew D. Bogert; 1870-'75, John E. Gurnee; 1876-'87, 
Daniel D. Demarest; 1888-"93, Abram D. Blauvelt; 1894-'96, Cornel- 
ius V. A. Blauvelt; 1897-'99, John M. Hasbrouck; 1900-'02, Wm. J. 
Randolph. 

SCHOOL COMMISSIONERS. 

1844r-'45, Nicholas C. Blauvelt; 1846-'47, Joseph P. Brower; 
1848-'49, Wm. B. Westervelt; 1856-'57, Edward Suffeni; 1858-'60, 
Simon D. Demarest; 1861-'63, Simon D. Demarest; 1864-'66, Nicholas 
C. Blauvelt; 1867-'69, Leander V. E. Robinson; 1869, Nicholas C. 
Blauvelt; 1870,'72, Nelson Puff; 1873-'78, Spencer Wood; 1879-'81, 
Wm. Van Wagenen; 1882-'84, Thomas W. Suffern; 1885-'87, Thomas 
W. Suffern; 1888-'90, George E. Knapp; 1891-'93, Frank Comesky; 
1894-'96, George A. Blauvelt; 1897-'99, Robert R. Feltcr; 1900-'02, 
John W. Sherwood. 

SHERIFFS. 

1685, M. Johannus; 1690, Floris W. Crom; 1694, Stanley Hancock 
of New York; 1699, John Peterson; 1702, John Perry; 1706, Jeremiah 
Caniff; 1708, Cornelius Cooper; 1709, Cornelius Haring; 1718, Timothy 



CLOSE OF THE WAR. 181 

Halstead; 1730, William Piillen; 1Y37, Michael Dnniiing of Go- 
shen, Thadeiis Snedeker; 1741, Joshe Sackett of Cornwall; 175G, 
Jonathan Lawrence of Cornwall; 1758, Daniel Everett, Goshen; 1761 
Daniel Denton, Goshen; 17C4, Jesse Woodhnll, Cornwall; 1772, James 
Matthews of Cornwall; 1777, Isaac NicoU, Goshen; 1781, William W. 
Thompson, Goshen; 1785, Hezekiah Howell, Cornwall; 17i)9, Peter 
Tanlman; 1800, Peter Stevens; 1804, Evert Hogencamp; 1808, Peter 
Stevens; 1810, Isaac Blanch; 1811, Peter Stevens; 1814, Peter Hay; 
1818, Jolm B. Haring; 1820, Abram Stephens; 1821, John B. Haring; 
1825, A. P. Stephens; 1828, John B. Haring; 1831, Kichard Blauvelt; 
1832-'34, Richard Blauvelt; 1835-'37, Hannon Blauvelt; lS3S-'40, 
John P. Felter; 1841-'43, John C. Blauvelt; 1844-'46, A. A. Cas- 
sedy; 1847-'49, Asbury DeNoyelles; 1850-'52, Hagaman Onderdonk; 
1853-'55, Henry L. Sherwood; 1S5G-'5S, John H. Stephens; 1859-'G1, 
Wm. Pen-y; 18G2-'64, John H. Stephens; 18G5-'67, Daniel C. Spring- 
steen; 18G8, Wm. J. Perry; 1868-'73, Daniel C. Springsteen; 1874'7C, 
Charles B. Benson; 1S77'79, Wm. Hutton; 1880-'82, Henry Christie; 
1883-'85, John A. Haring; 1886-'S8, Wm. H. Thompson; 1889-'91, 
John F. Shankey; 1892-'94, George Dickey; 1895-'97, Edward S. 
Annis (died March 10, 1897); 1897, Wm. P. Foss, Wm. Dewey; 
1898-1900, Cornelius V. A. Blauvelt; 1901-'03, Fred S. Weiant. 

SUPERINTENDENTS OF THE POOR. 
1843, Jacob Hauptman, John R. Van Houten, James Suffem, 
Jacob J. Eckerson; 1844, Jacob Hauptman, John R. Van Houten, 
James Suifern, Jacob J. Eckei-son; 1845, Jacob Hauptman, John R. 
T/an Houten, James SufFeni, Jacob J. Eckerson; 1846, Jacob Haupt- 
man, James Suffem, John R. Van Houten, Jacob J. Eckerson; 1847, 
Jacob Hauptman, Jolm R. Van Hoiiten, Abram J. Dcmarcst, James 
Suffern; 1848, John Hunting, John R. Van Houten, Abram J. Dem- 
arest, James Suffem; 1849, John Himting; 1849-'50, John A. Haring; 
1849-'51, John R. Van Houten; 1850-'52, David Benson; 1851-'53, 
Samson Marks; 1853-'55, Richard 'Blauvelt; 1854-'56, George E. De- 
Noyelles; 1855-'57, John R. Gumee; 1856-'58, A. S. Crum; 1857-'59, 
Abram A. Stagg; 1858-'60, John B. Gumee; 1859-'61, Isaiic Blauvelt; 
18G0-'62, Abram A. Stagg; 1861-'G3, Jesse Conklin; 1S62-'G4, Isaiah 
Milbura; 1863-'65, Spencer Wood; 1864-'66, Jesse Conklin; 1865-67, 
Jacob Horn; lS66-'68, Oscar Wood; 1867-'69, Elias G. Shenvood; 



182 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

1868-70, Jacob Horn; 1869-'70, Spencer Wood; 1871-73, Thomas 
Dinan; 1872-74, Samuel A. VerValen; 1873-75, Jesse Conklin; 
1874-76, Thomas Dinan; 1875, James A. Bams, Erastus Jolmson; 
1876-78, William Sen-en; 1877-'80, James Coates; 1878-'80, Eichard 
B. Marks; 1881-'83, Eichard B. Marks; 1884-'86, Richard B. Marks; 
1887-'89, Hiram W. Babcock; 1890-'92, Hiram W. Babcock; 1893,-95, 
Matthew B. Mai-ks; 1896-'98, Hiram W. Babcock; 1899-1901, James 
E. Sherwood; 1902-4, James II. Morrissey. 

References: Kuttentoer's Orang-e County. Green's Bookland Couniy, 



CHAPTER XIV. 

KOCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL PROI'ESSION. 

V,y Dr. N. B. Bayley, Ha.versrt.naw. 
Piooieer Pihysdciianis — THie Practice of Medicine in Early Days — Organiza- 
tion lof Medioail Socie'tieis — Hosipiftals — Biographies, Etc. 

I!Nr imdertaking to \vi'ite the medical history of Rockland county one 
is met at the threshold with the same kind of obstacles, due to a 
paucity of early records, which confronts the histoi"ian of all early 
settlements, and makes therefore a full and continuous naiTative of such 
affaii's difficult and incomplete. The absence of early records on the part 
of the medical profession, the rarity of discoveries in the realm of the 
natural sciences, the slow diffusion of the results of scientific adventures, 
all combined to render the healing art somewhat unobtrusive. Never- 
theless the progress in the science and art of medicine in the last three 
centuries are comparable with those in other departments of hu- 
man activities. Unlike the discoveries and advancement in other 
sciences, such for instance as steam and electricity, which are her- 
alded before the world by large and conspicuous mechanisms, the discov- 
eries and advancements in the science and art of medicine are made and 
performed in the quiet and i>eaceful domain of the laboratory, the hos- 
pital and at the bedside of the sick, removed from the gaze of the multi- 
tude. Compared with other learned professions there is a reser\'e and 
a quietude, withal a .shrinking from publicity, which operates to keep 
progress in medicine in some degree removed from the common conver- 
sation of everyday affaii-s. Though every house in the land is entered 
by the physician, thoiigh large and magnificent hospitals are erected 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL, PROFESSION. 183 

tliroiigli the beneficence of the charitable, jet in the public eye the phy- 
sician is less in evidence than the lawyer and the priest. The lawyer 
comes before the public on innumerable occasions, in pleading the cause 
of the unfortunate ( :• in demanding justice for his client, and is the coun- 
sellor in every undertakirg in the business world; he makes and to some 
extent is made an agent to carry into execution the laws which are often 
draughted by his hand. The clergyman is the first man in the society of 
every commimity ; every day his voice is heard in prayer, exhortation or 
sermon; he is seen and known by all men, he is present at the infant's 
first epoch in life, after its birth, its baptism; in manhood at his mar- 
riage, the gTeat civil epoch of his life, and finally at the end he pro- 
nounces the eulogy which makes the final record. The physician enters 
silently the sick room, perfonns his work and silently departs. 

Accidents and sickness have always been a part of human history, and 
in the relief of distress is found an exemplification of one of the divine 
attributes enshrined in the human mind — the law of love. In adminis- 
tering to the needs of humanity those in all ages who possessed the 
greater skill and clearer comprehension came to have an established po- 
sition in the community; the services of such persons were sought on 
many occasions, and in this way a fund of empiric knowledge was accu- 
mulated which became traditionary stock in the practice of medicine for 
many centuries. Much of this traditionary fund of knowledge has been 
incorporated in the educational curricula of fonner times so that those 
who had the benefit of a moderate education knew much of the medical 
practice of the day and were thus enabled to relieve the distress of their 
fellow companions. There were many such individuals among the earlier 
colonists. 

It is not necessary to go into the details of the medical history of the 
world in the earlier part of the seventeenth century beyond the statement 
that the medical arts were beginning to feel a new impetus in scientific 
advancement. This century was a period of imrest in both political and 
scientific realms. Harvey in 161.3 was teaching the circulation of the 
blood, which gave a new impulse to medicine. It is probable tliat the 
colonists were as well supplied \\ath physicians as communities of similar 
size in Europe, especially after a permanent foothold had been obtained. 
In many of the shiploads of colonists which came to the Atlantic shores 
were clergymen who, in addition to their ecclesiastical, had received 



184 HISTORY OP ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

a medical education; but tlicrc were physicians and surgeons also. On 
the Mayflower a Mr. Fuller, who had received a medical education, and 
his wife, Avho was a midwife, were passengers. In 1607 Dr. Wooten 
came to Virginia as Surgeon General of the London Company, and in the 
following year Dr. Russell followed. Both, however, returned in a short 
time, but were probably succeeded by othei-s. There was no physician on 
Manhattan Island in 1620, when Peter Minuet purchased it for twenty- 
four dollars, but in the following year a Dr. Lamontagiie, a Huge- 
not, arrived, who seems to have been a man of large capability. 
Thereafter, as the colonies increased in population, physicians of emi- 
nence in Europe emigrated to the New World and found fields of labor. 
Young men of affluence in the colonies went abroad to Europe for medi- 
cal study, and upon their return laid the foundations of medical instruc- 
tion and practice. It was the custom in these days, and, in fact, until 
recently, when a young man desired to become a physician to enter the 
office of a practitioner of medicine and surgery as his preceptor, who 
taught him some of its rudiments and much empiric knowledge. Here he 
remained for some time, and in some cases if unable to enter a medical 
college for study he received a license to practice medicine from some as- 
sociation of physicians empowered to confer this privilege upon examina- 
tion. For many years county medical societies were empowered to exam- 
ine candidates for the practice of medicine and to grant licenses therefor. 
Many capable and reputable practitioners received their medical educa- 
tion and licenses for practice in this manner. This county has had sev- 
eral such practitioners. The student who entered Tipon such a course of 
medical study was said "to read medicine," a phrase no doubt oftentimes 
true that he "read" rather than studied ; but he sometimes studied. Be- 
sides "studying medicine" the student attended to some of his preceptor's 
domestic work, such as the care of the hoi"se and gardens. The recita- 
tions were more or less regular, depending somewhat iipon the preceptor's 
teaching ability and time at his disposal. Frequently the student attended 
his preceptor — both in their saddles — in his long rides through forests 
and fields, over mountains and throiigh valleys, which afforded many op- 
portunities for discoursing upon the symptoms, history and treatment of 
the diseases in the patients they had visited, pointing out critical signs 
and prog-nostications and drawing the attention of tlie student to the 
proper method of examination, caring for and trentmont of the patient, 



ROCKL/AND COUNTY MEDICAL PROFESSION. 18S 

meanwhile interspersing his impromptu lectnrc with many wise counsels, 
derived from experience. These clinical lectures no doubt would com- 
pare favorably with many delivered at the present day in hospitals and 
colleges furnished with all the paraphernalia which science and wealth 
affords. It was not infrequent that eminent physicians had several stu- 
dents for his class. Besides the clinical coiiversations, students were 
occasionally taught botany and the art of compounding medicines, as 
physicians usually dispensed the remedies which they prescribc<l. 

After iinishing such apprenticeship if the student had the financial 
means he took one or two coiirses of lectures in a medical college or trav- 
elled abroad to perfect his medical education. Such a preparation iisually 
contributed to make its possessor a prominent practitioner. 

It was not infrequent that the medical and ecclesiastical professions 
were united in the same persons and both exercised at the same time. 
Dr. Stiles, President of Yale College, (and also a clergyman), relates in 
his "Diary" that he gave regular courses of medical lectures to the stu- 
dents under his care, some of whom subsequently received a medical de- 
gree and practiced medicine and who at the same time filled the position 
of pastorates to churches. In Scudder's "Life of James Russell Lowell" 
it is related that Lowell's father, Itev. Chas. Lowell, a clergyman 
who was educated in Edinburgh, received also a medical education, 
wdiich was of service to him in his parochial ministrations, "he car- 
ried the gospel in one hand and bread and pills in the other." This w^as 
not an infrerjuent practice in the earlier part of the nineteenth century, 
judging from the many traditional stories which have come down to us, 
such as "Our pastor received a call in the midst of his sermon and dis- 
missed the congregation." 

Nevertheless the necessity for medical services were probably not as 
frequent in the earlier colonial days as in later times. The healthful out- 
door life, the natiu'^e of their occupation, the plain but substantial articles 
of food which formed their diet, the freedom from bad sanitation — a too 
frequent concomitant of large towns and villages — the few mechanical 
appliances and machinery both for indoor and outdoor work, the absence 
of huge engines for locomotion and propulsion, and the sturdy common 
sense of our ancestors in this country all contributed to render them 
imusually free from disease and accidents and tended to longevity. It is 
probable this rough frontier life barred out the weak and fragile. Severe 



186 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY, 

blasting epidemics occun-ed at long inten^als, but our country has no 
record of any such devastating blight as has occuiTed in all other parts 
of the world. Vaccination coming into practice in the earlier part of the 
nineteenth century mitigated the devastation from smallpox, and the 
sparsely settled commimities limited the ravages of scarlatina and diph- 
theria. Cholera once or twice obtained a foothold upon the Hudson 
river shores, but owing to the progress of sanitary science that danger 
is happily past. In these colonial houses scattered over the hills and 
through the valleys of our county the sick were cared for by the female 
members of the family, assisted by their neighbors and friends, who were 
always willing to give such helpfiil assistance as lay in their power. The 
chikh'en were nursed by their mother and her relatives. The wife was 
ministered to by some one in the neighborhood who by practice had ob- 
tained skill as a midwife, and only in emergencies was a physician sum- 
moned. And, indeed, owing to the excellent physique and healthfulness 
of the women, the summoning of a physician in a majority of cases would 
have been a useless errand as, owing to the long and difficult roads, his 
sendees could not have been available until the emergency requiring them 
had passed. In the earlier days of the colony and even down to the rec- 
ollection of the "oldest inhabitant" every physician, when he visited a 
sick {X>rson, carried in his saddle bags his annamentarium, a wonderful 
som-ce of supplies to the youthful eyes which beheld them. When a phy- 
sician was called to a family he frequently stayed until the emergency 
was passed, whether childbirth or waiting for the crisis of tlic fever, and 
sometimes the detention would last several days, "until the patient was 
out of danger." 

The sparsity of population, the long distances to be travelled, and that 
absence of general education which gives stimulus to the habit of record- 
ing daily happenings, combined with a strenuous effort for existence, suf- 
fices to account for a paucity of historical knowledge of the earlier colo- 
nial settlements. When the area now known as Rockland county was 
first settled it was embraced within the jurisdiction of Orange county. 
The early settlers were too few and too scattered to support a physician; 
they were hai'dy pioneers, their habits were adapted to plain living and 
to sturdy labor in wrestling with the elements of Nature, in which all 
things seemed to conspire to make men and women of fortitude, and en- 
abled them to battle against the commoner ills which l>efall mankind in 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL PROFESSION. 187 

luxurious living. lu fact, their good seuse demanded skilled medical 
attention, and when the population had increased sufficiently to support 
a resident physician one was settled amongst them. 

The population of Rockland county inci'eased slowly. In Orange 
county, which included Ilockland, there were in IG'J'3 "not above twenty 
families — 219 persons, inchuling 19 negroes." In 1702 the population 
numbered 268, of which number 33 were negroes. In 1712 the number 
of inhabitants was 439. In 1723 the population had increased to 1244, 
and in 1731 to 1969. In 1738 the poi>ulatiou of Orangetown precinct 
was 830, of Ilaverstraw 654; a total of 1484. At this date there was 
a sufficient population in Rockland county to induce a physician to locate 
here. 

The earliest record of any physician living in Rockland county is that 
of Dr. James (?) Osbom, who came thither from England in 1730 and 
settled within the precinct of Ilaverstraw, (it is said In the part which is 
now Stony Point). His practice extended over a larg-e domain, long and 
lengthy joiu-neys were I'equired to visit the sick and suffering men and 
women who had braved the terrors of the \vildeniess, and the dangers 
from the Indians who roamed throughout that region. At that time he 
was probably the only physician on the west side of the Hudson river 
south of Newburgh. He continiied in his practice until his death, of 
which there is no record. There can be no doubt that this pioneer phy- 
sician was skillful in his profession and wrought good results among the 
early settlers. He was succeeded by his son, Dr. Richard Osbom, who 
was born in this county. Of his early life we know nothing further than 
that he studied medicine mth his father as his preceptor and subse- 
quently attended medical lectures in New York city and then returned 
to the Haverstraw precinct, where he settled in his father's practice, to 
which he succeeded upon his death. It is related that he entered the 
Federal army and was active in the service of Wa.shington during the 
Revolution. At the close of the war he resumed his practice in Stony 
Point, where he continued imtil his death, which occurred in 1786. 
Some of the bills made out by him for professional services are still 
extant, but never paid — a fate which has met many physicians' bills since 
that time. Dr. Osboni's practice, like his father's, nmst have extended 
over the whole area of Rockland county, and also the southern part of 
Orange. Long and mountainous roads, through forests and swamps. 



188 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

often mere bridle-paths, wliicli required sharp sight and a sure-footed 
horse for passage, were the diliiculties wliich a pioneer physician Iiad to 
face. Our wonderment is that he succeeded so well. There were doubt- 
less other early physicians who lived in the precinct of Ilavci-straw of 
whom we have no record. Contemjwrancous with the later yeai-s of Ur. 
liichard Osbom, Dr. Jacob Outwater of Tappan ministered to the wants 
of a large community in the southern part of the county. lie was suc- 
ceeded by his son and grandson. (See notice of Dr. Jacob Outwater). 
In Dr. Greene's History of Eockland County is a reference to a Dr. Jesse 
Coe, who died in 1825, at the untimely age of twenty-five, and whose 
tombstone stands in the burying ground near the English church. In 
the same ground is found a stone erected to the memory of Margarett, 
wife of Dr. William Dusenbuiy, who died August 3rd, 1828. 

In the early decades of the nineteenth century Dr. Abram Cornelison 
lived and practiced medicine in Clarkstown, near Clarksvillc. He was 
the first president of the original — but soon defunct — Eockland Coimty 
Medical Society in 1829. There are extant unpaid bills of his for medi- 
cal attendance of the years 1813-14-15. Dr. Cornelison was a portly 
man, weighing more than 300 pounds. He was always neatly attired, 
wearing a white waistcoat and clothing of fine texture. It is said that 
when he received a "call" to make a visit upon a patient that he first 
partook of a glass of whiskey — a practice in those days not considered 
reprehensible. He was twice married. He had two sons and two daugh- 
ters. Dr. Cornelison lived to be an old man, probably eighty years of 
age at his death, which occiin-ed aboTit the year 1835, at his home in 
( 'larkstown, and where his body is interred. One of his sons, Dr. Abram 
Dubois Cornelison, studied medicine and practiced for a time in Haver- 
straw, living on West street at its intersection with Main. He was sec- 
retary of the Rockland County Medical Society in 1829. He removed 
from Haverstraw in August, 1834, to No. 243 Hudson street, New York 
city, where he continued in practice the remainder of his life. The Drs. 
Cornelison, both father and son, are said to have been skillful physicians. 
There was formerly among physicians a custom of advertising which is 
not seen among reputable men at the pi-esent day; thus Dr. Cornelison 
in an advertisement in the "North River Times" gives notice of his re- 
moval to New York, thanks his patrons for the confidence reposed in him, 
and asks for its continuance. Another physician states his qualifications, 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL PROFESSION. 189 

mentious his alma mater, the number of years of experience, and adds that 
he will truly practice the medical art. He probably had in mind the Hip- 
l^ocratic Oath. In point of time the next physician to settle in Haver- 
straw was Mark Pratt, A. M., M. D., who was descended from an old New 
England family and was born in Kent, Coun., April 15, 1804. He came 
from a scholarly family, as is evidenced by his gradnation in Arts from 
Yale College in 1826, and also his brother at a later date. He studied 
medicine at Yale College and graduated two years later, in 1828. After 
graduation he practiced for a short time in Delhi, Delaware comity, N. 
Y., but in 1833 he removed to Haverstraw, where he continued in prac- 
tice until his death, which occun-ed Jan. 25, 1875, at the age of 74 years. 
He was buried in his native town. Dr. Pratt received a more thorough 
education than a majority of physicians in his day had an opportunity of 
obtaining and was therefore better fitted to serve the public in the capac- 
ity of his profession. He soon took a successful standing, and for years 
it is said no other physician could obtain a foothold in his neighborhood. 
In 1848 he met with a severe accident, sustaining a fractui'c of the 
skull which nearly cost him his life. The imperfect recovery from this 
injury left him in a condition of impaired health, which was progTessive, 
and gradually resulted in lessened ability to work, and consequently in a 
narrowing of his practice. 

He was a genial, witty man, with a warm heart for everyone in 
trouble; with a kind word or a joking remark his presence often served 
to lighten the cares and distresses of his patients. He was zealous in his 
attachment to his profession. His memory is still presei'ved among the 
people among whom he labored so long and well. The name of Dr. 
Govan seems to connect the link of the older generation of physicians 
mth the yoimger in the northern part of the county. Dr. William 
Govan was born in Bamet, Vt., August 12th, 1818. His father was 
a Presbyterian minister who came from Glasgow, Scotland, about 1815, 
to Northern New England. He held pastorates in various towns in Ver- 
mont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Yoimg Govan entered Kim- 
ball Union Academy, Meriden, N. H., at the age of sixteen, and was 
prepared for college; he entered Dartmouth College in 1835 and gTad- 
uated in 1839. In 1840 he began the study of medicine, and in 1843 
received a license to practice. In 1844 he received the degree of A. M. 
from Dartmouth College, and in 1854 he received the degxee of M. D. 



190 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

from the New York Medical College. In 1843 Dr. Govan commenced 
the practice of medicine in Stony Point, where he continued nntil his 
death. He also conducted a drag store. In 1858 he became a permanent 
member of the Medical Society of the State of ISTcw York, and in IS GO 
he was elected a permanent member of the American Medical Associa- 
tion. In 1872 he became a fellow of the American Academy of Medi- 
cine. In 1881 he was chosen vice president of the Medical Society of 
the State of New York; in 1S44 he became a fellow of the New York 
State Medical Association. He was secretary of the Rockland Co^mty 
Medical Society for twenty-five years, and also was a coroner of Rock- 
land county for twenty years. Dr. Govan was an active citizen and was 
interested in political, educational and religious affairs. In politics he 
was a Democrat, in religion a Presbyterian until late in life, when he 
joined the Episcopal Church. He married, in 1845, Miss Lucia J. ilitcli- 
ell, of Peekskill. Of this union two sons and one daughter were born. 
Dr. Govan's death occurred March 22, 1894, at the age of 74 years. His 
widow, one daughter and one son sTuwive him. His body was interred 
with Masonic honors. 

Tlie only physicians practicing in Stony Point during the life time 
of Dr. Govan until the last five years of his life were the Dr. Garrisons, 
father and son, who removed from Brooklyn, N. Y., to Stony Point in 
the year 1862. The elder. Dr. Nelson A. Garrison, of Stony Point, was 
born in Brookljai, N. Y., and practiced medicine there for many years. 
In 1862 he removed to Stony Point, where he practiced until his death, 
which occuri'ed on Jan. 26, 1872, at the age of 73 years. He was suc- 
ceeded in his practice by his son. Dr. N. A. Gan-ison. The senior Dr. 
Garrison possessed much skill as a physician and enjoyed the confidence 
of his patrons. 

Dr. Nelson A. Gamson, Jr., of Stony Point, who was an only child, 
and bore his father's name, was born in Brooklyn, N. Y., Aii- 
gaist 19, 1838. Dr. Garrison received his early education in 
the schools of his native city, and when fitted to enter u]iou 
the study of medicine entered the Medical Department of the Uni- 
versity of New York, from which he graduated with honor in 
1858. He afterwards pursued a post graduate course in the same insti- 
tiition, and then entered upon the practic-e of medicine in his home 
neighborhood in his native city. He soon became connected ^vith the 
Long Island College Hospital. In 1862 the family removed to Stony 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL PROFESSION. 191 

Point, where soon afterwards the senior Dr. GaiTison died. Dr. Gar- 
rison continned in practice until his death, whicli occurred in August, 
1893, at the age of 55 years. He was married November 21st, 1865, to 
Miss Barbara Suffern, granddaughter of the late John H. Suffern, and 
who survives her husband. Dr. Garrison was well and favorably kno^vn 
as a physician, a man and a citizen. His patients were his loyal friends. 
The poor found in Dr. Garrison a friend in need, who knew how to dis- 
tribute alms without giving offense. To many a poor family his reply 
when asked for a bill was, "You need it more than I." Strong and rugged 
in physique, cheerful in his demeanor, pleasant and affable to all, his 
sudden death came as a sui-prise and a loss to the community where he 
had lived so long, and whose death was lamented by all. 

Dr. John Heron Sullivan, of Haverstraw, was bom in the county 
of Cork, Ireland, July 12th, 1824, of veiy respectable parentage, 
his father being a land-owner. His father's and mothei-'s names were 
respectively Cornelius and Mary Sullivan. Young Sullivan received 
an excellent education, graduating in Arts at Trinity College, Dub- 
lin. He subsequently pui-sued his studies in Paris, under the direc- 
tion of the celebrated Cmveillhier. He came to the United States dur- 
ing the earlier part of the Mexican War and enlisted in the U. S. army, 
the life and excitement of a military campaign having attractions for 
him at that early period of his career. He showed courage at the Battle 
of Chepultepec, and was \^'ith General Scott when he entered the City 
of Mexico. He had already given some attention to medicine before his 
emigration to the United States, but after his return from the Mexican 
War he again turned his attention to the medical profession and entered 
the Philadelphia College of Medicine, where he graduated in 1853. He 
married Miss Ophelia Marsland, of Ossining, IST. Y. He chose the south 
for his field of work and settled in Warthen, Washington county, 
Georgia, where he built up an excellent practice and was highly respected 
throughout that region. Here he was happily and thoroughly at work 
when the dark, ominous clouds of the Ci\'il War broke over them. Dr. 
Sullivan was contented to cultivate his farm, practice his profession and 
see his family grow up around him in love and affection, and although 
death had entered their home and taken away two of his children, who 
were buried in Southern soil, yet it had made tinner his attachment to 
his Southern home, as he had both prospered and suffered there. But the 
ominous sounds of an impending conflict were reverberating tlirough the 



192 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

laiul and stin-ed all men to zealous activity as tlicir minds were fed Tipou 
the threatened danger to property and homes. The people of neither 
section of the country understood each other, nor could the people of 
one section put themselves in the place of those of the other. The moral- 
ity of slavery on the one side and the vital necessity of slavery to the 
prosperity of the south upon the other could on neither side be discussed 
with equanimity. Dr. Sullivan and his family, though not to "manor 
bom," could sympathize wnih their neighbors and friends and under- 
stand their situation, but as he had never become a slave holder (he 
hired the colored man instead of buying him) so he had never become 
a "trac Southerner;" and so in spite of his recognized professional skill 
and neighboring friendships, he became a "marked man." Dr. Sullivan 
had no desire to interest himself in politics, nor to enter the South- 
em army. He was closely watched and soon some of his hot-headed 
neighbors brought his case to the attention of the Vig-ilance Committee, 
on a charge of treason, where had it not been for some loyal friends, he 
would have been severely dealt with. Though his case had been post- 
poned through the influence of personal friends for a time, to give him 
an opportunity to join their cause, yet the inevitable charge of treason 
was fonnulated against him, and his case was placed on the calendar for 
the nest session of the county court, soon to be held at the Coiuity Court 
House. Here his friends again came to his rescue, even after he had told 
them that he could never trail the flag of his eountiw in the dust after 
fighting imder its folds. A good neighbor who had early received infor- 
mation of the proposed a.rrest of Dr. Sullivan hastened to him and 
after assuring himself of the utmost privacy, told him of his con- 
templated arrest and advised him to escape immediately. Dr. Sullivan 
acted upon this advice and went to Savannah, where he consulted a good 
friend, Colonel Hardee, a brother of General Hardee of the Confederate 
army. The Colonel gave him a pass to his brother, then at Nashville, 
Tenn., who helped the escaping Unionist into the Union lines. Six 
weeks afterwards friends of the doctor enabled his wife and cliildren to 
make their way by devioiis routes to the Union army in Kentucky and 
so on to their INorthem home. In his flight from the Confederacy, Dr. 
Sullivan lost all his property. Real estate, cotton, bills receivable, every- 
thing was left behind and under various pretexts confiscated. After re- 
turning North, Dr. Sullivan enlisted in the Union anny and was ap- 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL, PROFESSION. 193 

pointed by Gov. Seymour of ISTew York, First Assistant Surgeon to the 
Third N. Y. State VoL Infantry and liehl this post until the close of the 
war. In his army sendee Dr. Sullivan had charge of large general hos- 
pitals. After the regiment was disbanded Dr. Sidlivan came to Haver- 
straw, in April, 1S66, and entered npon the practice of medicine, where 
he continued until his death, whicdi occurred November 7, 1879, at the 
age of 54 years. His widow and seven daughters survive him. Dr. Sul- 
livan had an extensive practice covering a large area. His counsel was 
eagerly sought, his clear, penetrating mind, excellent training and large 
medical experience enabled him to bring to the bedside a large knowl- 
edge of his profession in the diagnosis and treatment of the sick. Thus 
he was a successful physician and his memory is still fresh among those 
who had received of his skill and kindness. Dr. Sullivan was a schol- 
arly man, and delighted to spend his spare moments in the reading of 
classic authors. 

Dr. William S. House, of Ilaverstraw, a son of Garrett O. House, a 
descendant of an old Rockland county family, was born in Clarkstown, 
May 15, 1837. In early childhood his father removed to !N^ew York city, 
where the children received a good public school education. When Dr. 
House had received his preliminary education he entered the i^ew York 
Medical College as a medical student, and in due course graduated in 
1858 as a physician. He immediately settled in Spring Valley, where he 
resided ten years, making many friends and building up a reputation as a 
skillful physician. Feeling that a \vider sphere of work awaited him in 
Ilaverstraw, he removed thither, where he resided until death, which oc- 
cuiTed on January 26th, 1900. As a physician he won the confidence of 
the connnunity. He was faithful and untiring in his ministrations Tipon 
the sick, firm in his opinion and a trusted coimselor. Dr. House was twice 
married, his first wife dying shortly after man-iage. He married for his 
second wife Miss GriiEn, who with two sons and a daughter survive him. 

Another physician of whom only the older inhabitants have a clear 
rcmembi-ance is Dr. John Perdue, of Haveretraw, a gi-aduate of the 
Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pa., who came to Haverstraw 
in 1S43. In 1850 he removed to Pennsylvania, biit did not remain long 
and returned to Haverstraw, where he continued in practice until his 
death. He was a genial man and active in his work. He was of an 
inquiring turn of mind, seeking if possible to discover the antecedent 



194 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

caiist^ of every event. This anecdote is related of liiiii, which is said to 
be characteristic: One day Dr. Perdue had the misfortune to fall into a 
cistern partly filled with water, which while it was not sufRciently deei) 
to endanger his life, made his situation an extremely uncomfortalile one. 
His noighboi-s came rapidly to his rescue and quickly made the necessary 
arrangements to extract the Doctor from his unpleasant predicament, 
but firet he insisted upon giving his friends a detailed account of the 
accident. The Doctor's friends were more practical than he and tohl 
him that they would first get him out of the cistern, and then he could 
explain the accident to his heart's content. Dr. Perdue had a largo 
practice, and was regarded as a safe and trustworthy counsellor. He was 
a local preacher in the Methodist Church. 

Dr. Herbert B. Chambre, of Haverstraw, was bom in London, Eng., 
in 1833, his father being an Episcopal clergyman. In the prosecution 
of his studies he obtained a situation in Guy's Hospital, under the tuition 
of Prof. Quain. He graduated with honors, having received the Physi- 
cian's Certificate of Guy's Hospital on examination. After the death of 
his father, the family emigrated to the United States, going first to 
Indiana, wliere they remained for a short time only, and then removed to 
Brooklyn, ^N". T., where Dr. Chambre first entered upon the practice of 
medicine. Soon afterwards he had as a patient a lady belonging in 
Stony Point, who was so well pleased with his treatment that her family 
induced him to settle in Rockland county. He came finally to Haver- 
straw, where he bought a dnig store, which he earned on in connection 
with his practice. The work necessary to carry on both interests proving 
too gTeat, he sold out the dnig store and removed to Dover, N. J., where 
he entered upon a less exacting work. Soon afterward he enlisted in the 
Fourteenth New Jersey Vol. Inf., and was made a surgeon of the regi- 
ment. In the performance of his duties he received a sunstroke which 
so impaired his health that he was compelled to ask for his discharge 
from service. He returned to Dover, where he remained for some time, 
and when sufRciently recuperated to warrant the undertaking of the 
practice of his profession, he removed again to Havci-straw, wliere he 
continued in practice until his death, which occurred August 13, 1S81. 
He was buried ^vith Masonic ceremonies. Dr. Chandire enjoyed the 
confidence of the community and was esteemed an excellent physician. 




N. B. BAYLEV. M.D. 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL PROFESSION. 195 

Dr. lleury Ilasbrovick House, of Eockland Lake, was boru at Pearl 
Eiver, Rockland county, April 1st, 1842. He was the second son of 
Cajit. Garret 0. House and Elizabeth (Hasbrouck) Hovisc, and a younger 
brother of Dr. William S. House, of Haverstraw, and cousin of Dr. 
Moses C. Hasbrouck, of Nyack. At an early age his parents moved to 
New York city, where they remained for a short period only, when they 
returned to Nyack, where he attended school until his thirteenth year, 
when his father, who was captain of the steamboat Isaac P. Smitli, 
removed to Haverstraw, where his education was continued in the Moun- 
tain Institution, then conducted by Prof. Lems B. Hardcastle, and lat«r 
in the Claverick Institute and Rutherford's Institute, at Kyack. Taking 
up the study of medicine, he entered the University Medical College, N. 
Y., and graduated in 1863. Dr. House, immediately iipon his gradua- 
tion, opened an office in Englewood, N. J., where he I'emained a few 
years. He then removed to New City, Rockland county, staying a few 
months, and then to Haverstraw, where he opened a drug store, which 
lie caiTJed on only a short time, removing in 1873 to Rockland Lake, 
which remained his field of labor until his death. Dr. House was sur- 
geon for the West Shore R. R. and in the discharge of his duties received 
an injury which terminated fatally. Dr. House was greatly interested 
in matters pertaining to the interests of the community in which he 
lived. He merited the esteem of his friends and acquaintances. He was 
for many years Postmaster of Rockland Lake and also a member of the 
Board of Education and took a deep interest in educational matters. Ho 
mari'ied in 1863 Miss Pamelia Vcr Valen, daughter of Richard Ver 
Valen, Esq., of Haverstraw. His death occurred April 1st, 1896, on his 
54tli birthday. He is svirvived by his widow and two sons. 

Of the eclectic physicians in this county none were held in higher 
esteem than Dr. Reuben H. Owen, who spent his life in the practice of 
his profession in Haverstraw. Dr. Owen was bom in Orange county 
-Tuly 11, 1819. His early education was obtained by his own efforts. 
He was a poor l)oy who worked in the summer time in the brickyards to 
obtain means for a livelihood and to assist in supporting his father's fam- 
ily. He had a natural bent towards the study of medicine which was 
fostered by his father's relatiA^es. His father was a school teacher and 
a man of more than ordinary intelligence, with a love for the study of 
nature. Dr. Owen had a hard struggle to carry out his plans to fit him- 



196 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

self for his life work, but by diligence lie was enabled as the result of his 
siniuuer's work to pursue his studies during the winter months. He 
entered the New York Eclectic Medical College, where he graduated 
iu 1842. For a time he practiced in New York. He then removed to 
Haverstraw, where he spent his entire life, a period of forty years. Dr. 
Owen was reputed a safe, cautious, physician, and always ready to give 
his services to the poor as readily as to the rich. To relieve the distress 
of the suffering was to him a duty that was not tinctured with any sense 
of gain. He was of a deeply religious turn of mind and zealous in his 
church, of which he was one of its most active and enthusiastic worship- 
])ers. Dr. Owen was prominent in the Eclectic School of Medicine in this 
State. He was president of the Eclectic State Medical Society for some 
years, and also a delegate to the National Eclectic Medical Association 
tl'c year of his death. Dr. Owen enlisted during the Civil War in the 
17th Eegiment, New York State National Guard, sei-\'ing only a few 
months. He was surgeon to the Edward Pye Post, G. A. R., until his 
death. In 1842 Dr. Owen married Miss Jane Abrams, of Newburgh, 
N. Y. His death occuiTcd Jan. 11, 1884. His funeral was held in the 
Metliodist Church, Haverstraw, under the auspices of the Edward Pye 
Post, G. A. R., and Stony Point Lodge No. 313, F. and A. M., both of 
which organizations he was a member. 

Of the physicians whose memory remains imdimmed among the 
people with whom he spent his whole professional life the name of Spen- 
ser Stephen Sloat stands prominent. He descended from an old line of 
Rockland coimty families in the southeastern part of the county, seeing 
first the light of day at Sloatsburg, N. Y., April, 1827. His parents 
were Stephen Sloat and Catherine Ward Sloat. Young Sloat received 
an excellent education in the public schools and Academy and after- 
wards entered upon the study of medicine in the College of Physicians 
and Surgeons, New York, receiving his diploma from that institution 
in 1850. Soon after graduation Dr. Sloat began the practice of med- 
icine in Haverstraw, in association with Dr. C. H. Austin, a prominent 
practitioner, who soon retired from practice. Dr. Sloat had many of the 
cpialities which ai-e essential to a physician's success. In addition to a 
genial disposition and the ability to see quickly and to prescribe a speedy 
remedy, he possessed a certain magnetism which drew men to him. Dr. 
Sloat always had an extensive practice. He enlisted in the Civil "War 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL PROFESSION. 197 

nnd was appointed surgeon to tlie 95tli IST. Y. State Vol. Inf., wlilch posi- 
tii)n lie held three years. He was a member of the Edward Pyc Post, 
G. A. K. In addition to liis professional acquirements, I)r. Sloat was a 
fine mnsicinn and played the organ in the Presbyterian (Jhurcli of Ilav- 
erstraw for many years. Dr. Sloat practiced medicine in Ilavci-straw 
and yicinity for thirty years and was probably more intimately known 
than any other physician in the northeastern portion of Pockland county. 
Dr. Sloat's death occurred Xoy. 30, 1880, at the age of 53 yeai"s. The 
catise of death was ajwplexy, of which he had had premonitions for sev- 
eral years. Dr. Sloat was buried from the Central Presbyterian Church, 
the Rev. Dr. Amasa S. Freeman preaching the funeral senuon. The 
Edward Pye Post, G. A. R., had charge of the funeral. Dr. Sloat mar- 
ried Miss Mary Perkins about 1850. His widow, one son, Mr. Charles 
Sloat, druggist, of Ilaverstraw, and two daughters sur\'ive, one, the 
eldest, marrying Mr. Richard W. Oldfield, of Haverstraw. 

Dr. Stephen William Allen, born in Columbia county, N. Y., came to 
Ilaverstraw and practiced medicine for a period of twenty-five yeai-s. He 
belonged to the Homeopathic school, but was not a naiTow — nor can it 
be said, scarcely a sectarian physician, as he was professionally on ami- 
cable terms with the physicians of his neighborhood. Dr. Allen was 
kind to the poor, never asking compensation for his sei-vices whenever 
he saw that the payment of a fee would be a hardship to the patient. 
That Dr. Allen's professional friendship wgs considered worth having 
l)y many of the physicians of his vicinity' is evident from the numerous 
charges for violation of the "Code of Ethics" preferred by the Rockland 
County Medical Society against several of its members for professional 
consultations with him. The "Code of Ethics" of the old physicians 
forbade any member of the society to consult with a homeopathic or sec- 
tarian physician. All this seems puerile and we are glad to say is an 
ol>solete custom in medical affairs. Dr. Allen enlisted in the C'ivil "War 
in the I7th Regiment, New York State National Guard. Dr. Allen 
had a large practice and was considered a skillful physician. To the 
poor he was indeed a phy.sician in need. Dr. Allen died Augiist 2, 1884, 
aged 62 years. His illness continued for several months, during this 
time he received many testimonials of kindness from all the neighboring 
physicians. He was twice married. His widoAy, who was Miss Carrie 
A. Owaram, survives him. 



198 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

A young physician whose ability promised a skillful practitioner 
was Dr. Adolphus Howland Wood, of Tompkins Cove (Stony Point). 
lie was of the "manor bom," a native of the vicinity where he lived and 
where he commenced his life's work. Dr. Wood was bom August 30, 
1876. He received his education at the Haverstraw public school and 
after graduating from this school he pursued a course in commercial 
studies at Packard's Business College, New York. But a commercial 
life was not to be his final choice, so accordingly he entered upon a course 
of medical studies in Bellevue Hospital Medical College, entering in 
September, 1893, and graduating in March, 1897. He settled in the 
practice of medicine at Tompkins Cove Sept., 1897, and although mvich 
yoinigcr than physicians usually ai-e when entering upon the prac- 
tice of their profession, Dr. Wood immediately took a good position 
as a physician in the community, and was winning the confidence of his 
neighbors and friends when he was suddenly stricken with meningitis, 
to which he succumbed, after a short illness, Feb. 21st, 1899. The med- 
ical profession attended the funeral. He was unmarried and is survived 
l>y his mother and gTandfather. 

The pioneer physician of the southwestern section of the coTinty, 
called in the fonner times by the general name of Hemstead, and lat«r 
Ramapo, was Dr. Zebadee Wood. In the year of 1810 the establish- 
ments for the manufactm'c of iron and cotton founded by the Pierson 
Brothers had spread thrift and prospei'ity in this ^acinity and increased 
the growth of the village of Eamapo to a population of 700 persons, and 
benefited the farmers in a circuit of many miles by obtaining a good pay- 
ing market for grain and other farm products. At this time (1810) the 
proprietors of these works, impressed with the necessity and propriety of 
having a resident physician in the place, wrote to Dr. Zebadee Wood, 
with whose worth and capabilities they were no doubt well acquainted, 
and solicited him to locate there, assiu^ng him that if the income from his 
])ractiee did not amount to $fi00 per year, they would make up the defi- 
ciency. He accordingly came, and as he was bom in 1775 he must have 
l)een a young man in the prime of life at the age of 35 years. He tlien 
began a life of arduous toil, not only in the village, but for many long 
miles in all directions. He is described by all who remember him ns 
a rather small man and very fine looking, and as he traveled on his pro- 
fessional calls, mounted on his cantering horse, wrapped up in cloak 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL PROFESSION. 199 

and cap, his long silken and cnrly locks dangling over his shonlders, 
with capacious saddle-bags fastened to the back of his saddle, and no 
•lonbt a pair of bright lances in his vest pocket to draw rivulets of blood, 
lie ])i'esented an Tuiique, pleasant and picturesque figure. 

lie remained in this place for thirty -five years, passing all the time 
in unwearied toil, ready and prompt to answer any call, and do all he 
could for the sick and suffering in the community, and thus lived and 
labored without a stain on his character. In the year 1845, when he 
had reached the age of seventy years, no doubt becoming tired and 
unable to continue this hard work, he came into the possession of a large 
farm about two miles east of Suffern, where he removed and lived more 
at ease and in the enjoyment of rural felicity, and secured a condition 
in life named by Cicero "Otium cum dignitate," leisure and dignity, 
which shoiild be the lot and reward of every aged physician. He still 
continued a moderate practice among his friends and neighbors until 
old age and infinnity forced him to relinquish liis labors. So he grew 
old and helpless and died in January, 1857, in his eighty-second year, 
and is buried in the cemeteiy at Ramapo, K. Y., and has the very appro- 
priate epitaph on his monument, "He rests from his labors." 

When Dr. Wood left Ramapo, in 1845, Dr. Daniel L. Reeves took 
his place. He was then a young vmmarried man, well educated and very 
sociable, and not being forced by necessity to labor hard to support a 
family, was inclined to be somewhat negligent in his attention to profes- 
sional work. He remained imtil 1851, when he removed to Jersey City, 
N. J., where he continued for the remainder of his life, a successful and 
skillful siirgeon and physician. 

He was succeeded here by a Dr. Tuttle, who resided near Suffern, 
but he remained only a year or two, not long enough to make a record. 
He left and went to Illinois to practice. After him came Dr. Gerrard ?>,. 
Hammond, who was reared and probably born in Westchest^^-r county, 
]Sr. Y., near White Plains. He commenced his professional life for a 
short time as a naval surgeon, but relinquishing it, came to Rockland 
county and located fii-st at Viola, but soon after removed to Suffern. He 
was a man of ability and energy, and held the confidence of the 
community. 

He left in 1855, when he was succeeded by Dr. A. S. Zabriskie, a 
worthy successor of Dr. Wood, and who is yet somewhat in practice, 



200 HISTORY OF ROCKIvAND COUNTY. 

though dividing his time in service to the twin divinities, Aesculapius 
aud Ceres. Dr. lianunond after leaving Suffem, went to Spring Valley, 
and practiced there until his death, which occurred in 1876, at the age 
of forty-eight years. 

Some time in the earlier part of the "fifties" Dr. Jacob S. Wigton, 
who was a graduate of the Medical Department of the University of New 
York, settled in Monsey and built up a large practice. In the latter 
part of his life he removed to Spring Valley, where he still retained his 
former patrons in his earlier fields of practice in the county. He died 
Sept. 11, 1888, being sixty years of age. He was a successful and highly 
resjwcted practitioner, honest and sincere in all his relations towards his 
fellow men. 

In a country neighborhood a few miles south of Spring Valley called 
in fonner days Scotland Hills, lived and died Dr. John Demarest, a very 
excellent, kind and sympathetic man, who labored in that community 
many years, probably his entire span of activity, and was no doubt 
deservedly regarded by all the people in his community as their beloved 
physician. He died October 8th, 1872, seventy-three years of age. Dr. 
Demarest was a graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, 
New York. 

At Hempstead, near the Brick Church, lived Dr. Daniel Lake, who 
had a lai'ge practice throughout the STirrounding country. Dr. Lake was 
a graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York, 
of the class of 1828. Dr. Lake pursued dual occupations, that of an 
agriculturalist and at the same time a practitioner of medicine, not an 
unusual combination of vocations in the rural districts in fonner days. 
He was a successful and highly respected man and merited the esteem 
of his neighboi-s and clientage. He was President of the Rockland 
Coimty Medical Society in 1872. He died Sept. 3, 1883, aged eighty 
years, in the ripeness and fullness of a well spent life. 

Dr. James J. Stephens, a well known physician of Tappan in the 
latter half of the nineteenth century was of the "manor bom." His 
lineage is a clear line from Jan Stephens and Lysbeth L^icas, who 
were married in New York, Oct. 4th, 1673, the former of whom is 
believed to have been the son of "Jan Stephensen, schoolmaster," entered 
on the New York records as having two children, Jan and Paulvntic, 
baptized respectively 15th November, 1643, and 1st July, 164G. After- 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL, PROFESSION. 201 

wards the family name Stevensen (or son) was abreviated to Stephens. 
Jan Stejjhcns and his wife, Lysbeth Lucas, had six children. The sixth 
child, named Stephen, was born July 2, 1685. Stephen was the father of 
Iloelof Stephens, born not lat,er than 1721. Roelof man'ied Marytie 
(or Mcnsje) Campbell, and settled in Rockland county. Eight cliildren 
were the issue of this union. The baptism of four are recorded in Ta2> 
pan and four in Clarkstown. The seventh child, William, was born July 
7th, 1757. William married Catrina Mannel (or Mennel), whose par- 
ents lived at the Pond (Rockland Lake). They had five children. The 
second, Johannes, boiii March 7th, 1784, near New City, married Mai*- 
garet House; of this union eleven children were born, James J., the 
subject of this sketch, who was born July 12, 1822, being the ninth. 
(For a more detailed genealogical record see History of Rockland 
Coimty by Rev. David Cole, D. D.). The foundations of the 
education of young Stephens were laid in the district school. 
Later he availed himself of better advantages, industriously pur- 
suing the higher studies which led to his profession. At an early 
age he taught school and continued in this avocation till he entered 
on a preparatory course preliminary to his medical studies, which were 
begun under the preceptorship of Dr. R. W. Steveusen, of Hackensack, 
N. J., and in 1844 entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New 
York, from which he graduated in 1846. Subsequently he spent two 
winters in Bellevue Hospital. After practicing in the city for one year, 
he removed (1847) to Tappan, where he began his practice, and con- 
tinued without interruption until his death, a space of fifty-one yeai-s. 
His practice extended over those parts of Rockland and Bergen coimties 
contiguous to Tappan. Dr. Stephens was well and favorably known; 
though eccentric in many ways, he had a kindly heart and was much 
sought for his skill. If he neglected personal adornment it was to show 
to his patients that the man and not the clothes should be the chief elinr- 
acteristic of a physician. Dr. Stevens' death occurred Marcli 3rd, 
1898, at the age of 76 years. The cause of death was apoplexy. lie was 
twice married. His first wife, Caroline Elizabeth, daughter of Rev. 
Isaac Cole, died Sept. 6th, 1863, leaving two daughters. His widow, 
Catherine Josephine Van Veglit«n, of Waterford, N. Y., survives. 

Among the native physicians of Rockland county who reached a 
long span of life. Dr. Isaac C. Ilaring is numbered as one of the more 



202 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

pre-eminent. Dr. Haring was born near Nanuet, in this county, Aug. 
20, 1S2S. His parents were Sophia Demarest and Cornelius J. Ilariug. 
He received his education in the public schools of Nanuet, and when 
fitted for the study of medicine entered the Medical School of the New 
York University, from which he graduated in 1850. He began his med- 
ical studies \uider the preceptorship of Dr. Moses C. Hasbrouck, and 
after graduation remained in his office for five years, practicing under 
the guidance of a master hand. He then removed to Nanuet and Pearl 
River, where he practiced from 1850 to 1855, when he removed to New 
City, where he remained until 1865; he then removed to Clarkstown or 
West Nyack, where he practiced until his death, which occurred April 
16th, 1900, at the age of 72 years. Dr. Haring was regarded as a good 
coimsellor and skillful in his profession. His professional life reached 
the span of fifty years. During this period how niimerous have been 
the instances when his step was waited for, and how much gladness 
has there been when relief and health were again promised to weary suf- 
fered and watchers. No wonder he is called "the beloved physician." 

Of the influence of Dr. M. C. Hasbrouck in the medical profession 
in this county there is no more conspicuous example than the profes- 
sional life of Dr. T. Blanche Smith, who grew up imder his training. 
Di'. Thomas Blanche Smith was born Nov. 27, 1835, in Grccnbush, or 
as it is now called, Blauveltville, in this county. His parents were John 
De Wint Smith and Eleanor C. (Blauvelt) Smith. He was educated in 
Columbia College, N. Y. His medical career was early initiated, enter- 
ing the office of Dr. Moses C. Hasbrouck, then practicing in Tappan, 
with whom he sustained during his entire life the closest relations. Dr. 
Smith graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1856 
and began practice at MiddletoAvn, in this county, in conjunction with 
Dr. Hasbrouck; two years later he removed to Tappan, where he prac- 
ticed successfully for twelve years. Upon the death of his preceptor and 
colleague, Dr. Smith removed to Nyack, where he remained, deeply 
immersed in his professional practice, \mtil his death, which oceurred 
five yeai-s later, on April 12tli, 1875, at the early age of thirty-nine years. 
The immediate cause of his death was exposure in inclement weather 
during a severe fire which occurred in Nyack, where Dr. Smith worked 
enthusinstically in controlling the conflagration, which induced an attack 
of pulmonary and pleuritic congestion setting in with such intensity that 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL, PROFESSION. 203 

in tho short space of tlire« days his life was blotted out. At the time of 
his death Dr. Smith was President of the Village of ISTyack. It is not 
saying too much that o\ving' to his large mental capacity and intimate 
association with a physician of the integrity and ability of Dr. M. C. 
Ilasbrouck, Dr. Smith could easily stand as among the first physicians 
in this county. In fact, Dr. Smith was recognized as one of the bright- 
est and ablest men Eockland county ha^ produced. Well trained and 
well read in medical science and practice, he had clear and concise views 
at the bedside, which made Dr. Smith a chosen counsellor and advisor. 
Like his preceptor and predecessor, a high standard of work was his con- 
st.ant eifort, and the unity of the profession received from him his untir- 
ing solicitude and support. The Medical Society of the county during 
the lives of Drs. Ilasbrouck and Smith reached a higher plane of excel- 
lence and usefulness than at any other period of its hi-story, and its influ- 
ence upon the local profession, which is due largely to these two physi- 
cians, has been of incalculable benefit in its results, which can yet be 
seen in the amicable professional relationship of the physicians of our 
county, especially in those parts which were more immediately under 
their constant influence. 

During the Civil "War Dr. Smith received an appointment as Inspec- 
tor of the Sanitary Commission, Sept. 1, 1862, made by Surgeon-Gen- 
eral "William A. Hammond, U. S. A., and also an appointment as exam- 
ining surgeon; both these commissions lasted to the end of the war. Dr. 
Smith while at Tappan resided in Washington's Headquarters. His 
maiTiage took place December, 1855, to Miss Ellen C. Van Orden, 
daughter of Frederick Van Orden. To this union there were five chil- 
dren bom. Dr. Smith was survived by his widow, one son, W. Parker 
Smith, of Spring Valley, and four daughters. 

Among the large number of physicians who have come to N^yack, 
built up a practice and secui'ed a reputation for medical acquirements 
was Dr. George A. Mursick, who after being mustered out of the army 
chose this village as his field of work. 

George Andrew Mursick was bom in New York city Feb. 2Gth, 
1834. His father. Captain George Andrew Mursick, who was a native 
of Boston, was the son of a Venetian. The father's family for at least 
two generations were residents of Venice, Italy. Dr. Mursick's father 
died when the son was a boy four years of age, but his mother, who was 



204 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

a liig'lily eduoated and cnltivatod woman, brought her son up, teaching 
hini herself and gave him an excellent education. When Dr. Mursick 
was old enough to enter upon a business career he entered a dnig store 
in New York, where he developed a desire for the study of medicine. 
To fulfil this puii^ose the yoimg lad entered the College of Physicians 
and Siirgeons, New York city, in 1857, graduating in 1860. Dr. Jlur- 
sick had a strong preference for surgery and devoted himself to this spe- 
cialty. When the thunders of civil war reverberated through the coun- 
try, necessitating on the part of the Government a demand for compe- 
tent surgeons for the field and hospital, Dr. Mursick responded to the 
patriotic call and in June, 1803, entered the Union army as acting Assis- 
tant Sm-geon, U. S. A., and was assigned to active hospital duties. For 
his meritorious services Dr. Mursick was promoted to be surgeon-in- 
charge of the U. S. Army General Hospital at Duvall's Cliffs, Ark., in 
Nov., 1864. In the same year he was appointed Medical Purveyor 
of the Arkansas department of the army, and continued to fill this office 
until he was mustered out of service, July 27, 1865. He was present at 
many serious engagements and showed much skill and bravery. 

Dr. Mursick was a skillful surgeon and an excellent operator. His 
surgical training and experience, which wei-e large, made him a valu- 
able counsellor. He was a man of positive opinions, which he frequently 
expressed in a somewhat brusque manner. This, however, was only a 
veneering; penetrate it and lieneath was found a helpful and considerate 
man. Nevertheless, it is only fair to say that his jwsitive assertions and 
brusqueness of manner may have led to the building of a wall which 
]irevented in some degree a closer aflfilintion with the physicians of his 
locality, where haniiony has l>een the keynote of professional relation- 
ship for a long: time, so that any breach in its observance maiTcd the 
rytlini of good fellowship which had existed under the example of its 
honored leader. 

Dr. Mursick wrote several medical papers of merit, but in loeal med- 
ical affairs his too trenchant pen did not bring him the tribute he desired. 
Yet there was nothing that looked like warfare. Simply a rivalry, car- 
ried on more stiffly than had been Hie custom in this town. Dr. ]\Iur- 
sick's health began to fail several months liefore his death, the disease 
being diabetes. Yet he continued, when able, to attend to his practice 
until a short time before his death, which occurred at his residence on 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL PROFESSION. 20S 

Eemsen street on October 17, 1895, in the G2ud year of his age. He mar- 
ried, May 30, 1872, in Ploasaiitville, T^. Y., Julia, ilaughier of the Rev. 
Jacob AVashbnrn, a Methodist clergyman of that town. There were 
three children by this imion, a daughter who died young, two sous, 
George A. and William W., and the widow, who sun'ivcs. 

Dr. William Gillespie Stevenson was born in Ohio, March, 1838. 
His family was a scholarly one, his father being a professor in Oberlin 
College, and his mother a woman of culture and refinement. One of 
his sistei-s married President Patton, of Princeton College. Young 
Stevenson received an excellent education and began the study of med- 
icine under the preceptorship of Dr. Lewis A. Sayre, of New York, 
between whom there existed a close friendship. After taking two courses 
of lectures and before his gTaduation, Dr. Stevenson went to Louisville, 
Ky., and from thence to Arkansas, where he fonned a business partner- 
shi]i mth another young man from the same region. Their business 
undertakings presented flattering prospects for success, when the 
clouds of internecine strife suddenly loomed before them. Ste- 
venson was a northeni man, and although he held himself entirely 
aloof from political affairs, the fact of his birth and training did 
not escape the attention of the people in that section of the country, 
who admitted no neutrality in political matters. Because of his failure 
to eulist, it was presumed he was opposed to the Southern interests. 
Under such suspicions he was arrested by the Vigilance Committee and 
hauled before its sittings on the charge of being an abolitionist, although 
the charge agaiust him could not be proved, he narrowly escaped lynch- 
ing at the hands of an infuriated mob. On the conclusion of the fan-ial 
trial, he accepted the advice of a friend, who told him to put thirty miles 
between himself and the town by early dawn of the next day. lie imme- 
diately directed his way to Memphis, where upon stepping off the boat 
he was arrested by a policeman and brought before the Vigilance Com- 
mittee, who already had received infonnation of his aiTest and escape 
on the previous day. The alternative was presented to liim of imme- 
diate enlistment in the Southern ai-my. He accepted the offer and was 
directed to the enlisting headquarters, wliere he enrolled his name in the 
Second Tennessee Vols., Co. P^, and before leaving the building was 
invested in a soldier's uniform. A little reflection showed him the utter 
impracticability of any plan of escape, so he made up his mind to do 



206 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

his duty and await his opportiiuity. Graspini;: military tactics with ease, 
he was soou promoted to a scrgeaucy, shortly afterwards to a lieutcuaucy, 
aud in a few months he was appointed aide-de-camp to General Beck- 
enridge. lu tliis capacity he passed through the battles of Fort. Don- 
aldson and Corinth, Shiloli Landing and othei^s. He was wounded at 
Shiloli, but after a few days he was ordered to accompany a contingent 
of wounded soldiers to Mobile, where for want of sufficient hospital 
accommodations, the wounded soldiers were divided into squads and dis- 
tributed to various towns, where they were mainly supported by the 
^vomcn among whom they were quartered. He accompanied the contin- 
gent to Selma, Ala., where he was commanded to perfonn the duties 
of a surgeon. As he already had received two courses of medical lectures 
iu New York, he was considered to be sufficiently competent to be a sur- 
geon in the Confederacy, where there was a scarcity of medical men. 
Here Dr. Stevenson was pleasantly situated. He was the officer in 
charge, btit he knew the day of reckoning would soon come when he had 
iHJcovered his health and the soldiers under his care had been mustered 
out of service or returned to their regiments, when he saw there would 
be no way of further escaping service in the rebel army. His strong 
desire to get into the Federal lines was an oiimipresent one. The whole 
length of the frontier line of the rebel army was strongly gi;arded, yet he 
resolved upon making the attempt. So one day he rode oiit of Selma as 
was his custom, biit instead of returning, he continued to ride on, meet- 
ing with many difficulties and hair-breadth escapes, until finally the Fed- 
eral lines were reached, where friends were f oimd who transported him to 
his parents and relatives, who had received no communication from him 
for more than a year. After recovering from the hardships of his en- 
forced sei-vioe iu the rebel anny, Dr. Stevenson cempleted his medical 
course at Bellevue Hospital Medical College, graduating in 1865, and 
immediately came to Xyack, where he began practice aud resided his 
whole life. Dr. Stevenson published a book entitled ''Thirteen Months 
in the Eebel Army," which is a narrative of his personal adventures 
(luring his service, and is a highly interesting and instructive account 
of matters in the Confederacy at a period which has not had an abun- 
dance of chroniclers. It is written in a vivacious style and will claim 
the attention of the reader to its close. A better idea of the condition of 
society in the early Confederate days may be obtained from this book 
than in many more pretentious ones. 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL PROFESSION. 207 

Dr. Stevenson married Mrs. Elsie Hasbrouck, who survives the death 
of her husband, which occuiTed Feb. 3rd, 1888, in his 45th year. Dr. 
Stevenson had a wide circle of acquaintances, and was highly respected.- 
He was skillfid in his profession and possessed a competent practice. 

Dr. Frank Hasbrouck, a son of Dr. Moses C. Hasbrouck, was born in 
Middletown, Kockland county, in 1838. As a son of so prominent a 
physician as his father, he received an education befitting his position. 
He was educated at Rutger's College and entered upon the study of med- 
icine under his father's guidance and in the College of Physicians and 
Surgeons, New York city, from which he graduated in 1862. He began 
practice under his father's supervision, and continued until his death, 
which occuiTed August 28th, 1866, in the 29th year of his age. 

A yoimg physician practicing under the immediate eye of his father 
seldom has an opportunity of showing what metal he is made of, but 
there is no reason to suppose that young Dr. Hasbrouck would have 
acquitted himself otherwise than in a creditable manner. He had ali'eady 
at the time of his death sho\vn himself to be a skillful practitioner. Dr. 
Hasbrouck man'ied Miss Elsie DePew, of Nyack, who sur\'ives. 

A descendant of a long line of New England ancestry. Dr. Charles 
Whipple, one of five children of Stephen and Louisa Edgerton Whipple, 
was born Oct. 9, 1815, in South Shaftsbury, Vt. His ancestry reaches 
back through three generations to Captain John Whipple, who it is 
stated, received a grant of land in Rhode Island in 1660, and with it a 
Hcense to keep a tavern. He was also contemporary with Roger Wil- 
liams, and his wife was a daughter of one of the Pilgrim Fathers. 

Dr. Whipple was educated at East Bennington and Chesire, Vt., 
and subsequently entered Rensaellaer Institute, Troy, N. Y., receiv- 
ing from the latter institution a diploma for civil engineering Oct. 
16, 1837. In 1838 he was one of a party to survey a railroad from Utica 
to Buffalo, iST. Y., and westward, but as malarial fever broke up tlic sur- 
veying party, he returned to Vermont. In June, 1840, Dr. Whipple 
commenced the study of medicine under the tuition of Dr. William Van 
Duersene, of New Brunswick, N. J., and later entered tlie Columbian 
ilcdical College, Washington, D. C, from which he gradiiated in 1842, 
receiving a prize for his Thesis in Chemistry, which was publicly awarded 

Dr. Whipple settled in practice in Haverstraw in the autumn of 
1843; he removed to Tarrytown in 1857, where he remained two years, 



208 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

when lie I'emoved to Nyack, Sept., 1859, where he died Nov. 11 of the 
same year, at the age of 44 years. 

Dr. Whipple was the first secretary of the Eockland County Medical 
Society after its reorganization in 1S50. The reputation of Dr. Whipple 
in the community wliere he had lived and practiced his profession is that 
of a skillful and trustworthy practitioner, safe in counsel and respected 
by his patients and acquaintances. He was an upright citizen, extending 
the heneficient influence of his life upon those around him. 

Dr. Whipple was active in establishing a Baptist Church in Ilavcr- 
straw, but his efforts subseqiiently came to naught, as no church of that 
denomination exists as a reward for his laboi"s. 

He married, Sept. 11, 1845, Miss Mary C. Concklin, daughter of 
Josiali Concklin, of Ramapo. A daughter married John Burke, Esq., 
of Nyack. 

Of all the physicians in this county none stood deservedly in higher 
estimation than the subject of this sketch, which is from the pen of his 
]m]ul and friend, Dr. T. Blanche Smith (extracted from the ISTyack 
Journal, Oct. 29, 1870). Moses Cantine Hasbrovick was bom at Mar- 
bletown, Ulster county, N. Y., ISTov. 23rd, 1808. The rudiments of his 
early education were acquired in a country school, while living and 
working with his father on the farm. When about seventeen years old 
he entered a dry goods store in Kingston as a clerk. The employment 
was not congenial to his tastes and aspirations, and while so engaged he 
^vas taken seriously ill and in his delirium begged his parents to keep 
him from the store. His father decided that he should relinquish his 
clerkship, and after leaving the store he entered the Greenville Academy. 
His funds Avere soon expended here and having gained the elements of a 
classical education he decided to begin the study of medicine with his 
uncle, Dr. Matthew DeWitt, Stone Ridge, Ulster county, as his precep- 
tor, a physician who was well known as a man of more than ordinary 
attainments, of study, integrity and sterling common sense. There can 
be no doubt that superadded to the counsels of a kind and judicious 
mother, the example of his preceptor had much to do in moulding the 
character and nobility of his student, for Dr. Hasbrouck would fre- 
quently refer to the acts and precepts of his preceptor in medicine with 
marked deference and satisfaction. After having complied with the 
requirements of the law for medical education, he received a license to 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL, PROFESSION. 209 

practice "physic and surgery" from tlic Herkimer Coiuity ]\[edieal 
Society, April 6t.li, 1S31, and imder its warrant removed to tills county 
and practiced for about four years, when he returned and graduated in 
the Fail-field Medical College in 1835. He was one of the five of the 
class chosen to read their Theses in public. He returned to Rockland 
county and practiced a year and then went to New York city, where he 
met with success, but becoming dissatisfied with city life and practice, 
after eighteen months' residence returned to this county for the third 
time and remained without interruption, being a busy practitioner until 
his death. Probably there never lived a medical man in this county who 
was better adapted to, and who more zealously prosecuted his work than 
Dr. Hasbrouck. Having a sound constitution and an intellect of more 
than ordinary capacity, he did an amount of professional work which to 
most men would seem impracticable. As he was a busy and acute ob- 
server, a ready memorizer and earnestly devoted to his profession, it Is 
easy to imderstand why his experience was a valuable one, upon which 
not only his juniors but seniors as well were ever ready to draw, in times 
when even the self-reliant among them became perplexed and harrassed 
by anxiety. It was on these occasions — when in consultation with his fel- 
low practitioners — that his manliness and delicate sense of honorable deal- 
ing apart from his professional acumen, was observed by all with Avliom 
he came in contact. Having entered this county when the medical society 
was about broken up and the few last bonds of coui-tesy and fairness 
were ruptured, his naturally sensitive natvire made him keenly feel the 
attempt made by the older practitioners to cnisli out his slowly but 
steadily rising reputation. To one, Dr. Cornelison, he often remarked 
he always gave credit for his uprightness, seemed to be the only one 
willing to give him a li^dng chance for a<lvancement, and this chance 
consisted on the one hand of exposure to the family of any blunders 
which in Dr. Conielison's opinion he had made, but when on the other 
hand the older doctor considered his practice judicious, he would invar- 
iably, freely and encouragingly approve of Dr. Hasbrotick's advice and 
prescription in presence of all. The pressure of this bitter and unbecom- 
ing professional strife in our county during Dr. Hasbrouck's early life 
led him years afterwards to aim at the restoration of hai-monious and 
dignified intercourse between the medical men of this county, and it 
was mainly through his exertions and personal influence that the Medi- 



210 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

cal Society of our county was reorganized and made the mediiun of 
reconciliation and professional advanc-ement among the medical men. 
Up to the date of his illness he unceasingly labored to foster and sustain 
the unanimity and usefulness of this organization and with correspond- 
ing earnestness deprecated and rebuked eveiy act and actor designedly 
aiming at professional discordance. 

Dr. Hasbrouck was always thoroughly interested in medical progi'ess, 
though his logical mind and resolute opposition to all attempts at trifling 
with human life when threatened by disease, made him less ready to 
accept and act upon novel views and theories trumpeted forth as pro- 
gressive, than were those who promptly adopted them and who were 
equally ready to pronounce him "behind the times." In this, however, 
many were deceived, probably on account of his retiring and impretend- 
ing manner, for no man in our county took greater pains to keep himself 
informed in medicine than Dr. Hasbrouck, and none of us, had we been 
called upon, wovild have surpassed him in medical and surgical knowl- 
edge and skill in a competitive examination. To gain a i-epntation 
within the profession where he always felt it to be most honorable and 
enduring was his great aim, and in his intercourse with younger members 
of the profession he advised every one to keep this object steadfastly 
before him as the goal of an honorable professional reputation. 

An appeal to the opinions of his peers in medicine throughout New 
York city and State, where he was thoroughly known, will attest how 
well he merited the elevated position accorded him, and how honorably 
he attained a professional reputation so worthy of emulation by all med- 
ical men. 

A generation has passed since the above was penned, but if there 
is any sincerity in the testimony in the tributes so affectionately paid to 
Dr. Hasbrouck's memory, then truly "he lives enshrined in the hearts" 
of those who knew him so well, and in their successors as well. That his 
influence upon the medical profession was far reaching is evident at the 
present time, and although a large majority of those who were contempo- 
rary with him have passed away, yet their successoi's seem to be actuated 
by the same spirit of unanimity and rectitude in their professional rela- 
tionships as was manifested when the living example was here to enforce 
this principle of rightness by actual precepts. 



' i^i 



^' 



^l^%i #5^ 





ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL, PROFESSION. 211 

It is not only among the medical profession that his memory lives, 
but it is also among those who have been the recipients of his sei-vice in 
some of their relationshijis that these expressions of esteem are frequently 
heard and of these there have been many. Probably there is scarcely 
a well known family within a radius of ten or fifteen miles of his home 
wliich has not at some time sought his services, and often in the direst 
extremity, and he never failed them. Thus Dr. Hasbrouck became 
known from stem to stern of Rockland county and beyond its borders. 
Dr. Hasbrouck seems to have been one of those men bom with the latent 
"talent" of the physician within him. The cultivation of this "talent," 
health, strength and good cheer, made him the "beloved physician." Dr. 
Ilasbrouck's death occurred Oct. 2Sth, 1870. He was 62 years old. 

Among the older physicians of the last quarter of the century who 
was well knoAvn in the southern part of the county was Dr. Charles H. 
Masten, who was bom in Odelltowu, Province of Quebec, Canada, Aug. 
2nd, 1839, his parents geing Cornelius and Isabel Masten. He received 
his education at Clarenceville Academy, Canada, and at Fort Edward 
Institute, ISTew York., and subsequently taught school in Canada. After- 
wards he engaged in the study of medicine and came to ISTew York city 
and entered Bellevue Hospital Medical College, graduating in due 
coiu'se in 1867. Immediately after graduating Dr. Masten came to 
Eockland county and opened an office in Sparkill with the late Dr. T. 
Blanche Smith. Both of these physicians were skillful in their profes- 
sion and met with such marked success that soon a large practice was 
obtained. Three or four years later Dr. Smith moved to Nyack, while 
Dr. Masten remained and continued in practice in the neighborhood of 
Tappan and Sparkill for thirty-three years. A couple of years previous 
to his death he removed to Nyack, where he hoped to obtain leisure and 
relief from arduous work, but he was stricken with pneumonia and died 
May 1st, 1902, in the 63rd year of his age. 

Dr. Masten was a skillful physician, mse in judgment, clear and 
comprehensive in his opinions. He possessed the confidence of his client- 
age, who were spread over a large teiTitory. He possessed a wann sym- 
pathy for his patients, tender and gentle in his manner, so that his 
presence in the sick room endeared him to all who came in contact with 
him. All who knew Dr. Masten were his friends. Failing somewhat 
in vigor, Dr. Masten concluded to retire from practice and took a pleas- 



212 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

ant home in ISTyack, here his patients still followed him, and he was com- 
pelled to a life of considerable activity until his fatal illness. By choice 
lie frequently visited the Nyack Hospital, where he was one of the con- 
sulting physicians, and freely gave his services for its benefit. 

Dv. Masten was never maiTied. He acquired a considerable com- 
petence for a physician, and bequeathed a large portion of his estate to 
tlio Nyack Hospital, which erected a large and much needed addition to 
this useful institution. 

There have been first and last a number of physicians who have set- 
tled in this county in the practice of medicine, and who for various rea- 
sons have never secured a foothold or made a lasting reputation. Some 
died, others moved away, or partially or entirely ceased to practice. 
Some of these deserve a little notice. Some years ago Dr. Henry AV. 
Iviesberg, a native of Austria, and a graduate of the New York Medical 
College, practiced in Haverstraw. He has left behind him the reputa- 
tion of a skillful man. 

A physician by the name of Daniel F. Wemple is remembered, who 
was a graduate of the University Medical College, New York city, in 
1879, and who practiced a few years in Havei*straw, and then removed to 
Kansas, where he has since died. 

Another physician of excellent repute who lived in Haverstraw from 
1835 to 1850, and perhaps longer, was Dr. Caleb H. Austen, who came 
from Leno.x, Mass. He was a graduate of Yale College (Medical Depart- 
ment). He married Miss Lois Patterson, a sister to the wife of 
Elisha Peck, Esq., of Sansomdale. He removed to New Haven, Conn., 
where he has since died. He was a skillful physician and a scholarly 
man, and numbered among his patients the wealthy and cultivated peo- 
ple of the community. 

Dr. Lucius D. Isham, a gi-ad^iate of the Medical Department of Yale 
College in 1849, practiced for several years in Nanuet. He came from 
Tolland county, Conn., and was introduced here by his friend from the 
same county, Mr. David B. Loomis, principal of the Haverstraw Public 
School at that time. Dr. Isham, after several years' practice, returned 
to his native State. He was an excellent physician, possessed of a good 
mind, and actuated by a high moral principle. 

Dr. Tallman, who lived north of the English Church, practiced there 
for many years and was considered a skillful physician and did much 
active work in that vicinity. There is no record of his death. 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL, PROFESSION. 213 

Dr. G. A. Lockwood, who practiced for a time in Eamaijo, died there 
May 21, 1881, aged thirty-nine years. He is well spoken of both as a 
citizen and physician. 

Dr. Hardenburg Van Hoiiten, a native of Eockland county, taught 
school in his native town for some time, but having more ambitious 
desires than school teaching, studied medicine in the New York 
Eclectic Medical College, from which he graduated in 1883. He prac- 
ticed several years in Haverstraw, then moving to New City, practiced 
there for two or three years, when he returned to Haverstraw, where he 
died in 1898, aged 48 years. 

Dr. Elmer E. Lansing, a graduate of the Albany Medical College, 
practiced a few years in Haverstraw. His first field of labor was Cairo, 
Egypt, to which place he returned and subsequently died, leaving a 
widow and two children. Dr. Lansing was skillful in his profession and 
of scholarly tastes. 

Dr. George B. Swift practiced for some years in Nyack. He was a 
graduate of Harvard Medical College. He was an elderly man when he 
located in Nyack, and after a few 3'cars residence there died. He was 
an estimable citizen and was held in equally good repute as a physician. 

There lived in Piermont for a number of years two Drs. Hopson's, 
father and son. Dr. James A. Hopson practiced there for some years, 
mitil his death, when he was succeeded by his son. Dr. Ed. Hopson, who 
practiced for a few years, then removed to one of the Western States. 
They are pleasantly spoken of. 

Among the physicians who were indigenous to this county was 
Dr. Charles H. Ten Eyck, who was born in Nyack about 1851. He 
received his early education in the public schools of his native town. He 
then studied with the late Prof. Christopher R^itherford with the inten- 
tion of becoming a Methodist clergyman, and had received a license to 
preach, but finding the ministry unsuitable to his aspirations, he con- 
eluded to study medicine, and for this purpose entered the office of Dr. 
T. Blanche Smith, as his preceptor. In due course he entered tlie Col- 
lege of Physician's, New York city, and graduated in 1874. He entered 
upon the practice of medicine at Nyack, which he continued for a time, 
when he removed to New York city. Dr. Ten Eyck is credited with 
attending in confinement the first Chinese woman delivered of a child 
in New York city. In 1894 or .5, his health becoming impaired, he 



.214 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

returned to Nyack where he died in the early months of 1900, at the age 
of 49 years. Dr. Ten Eyck was a pleasant gentleman, credited with skill 
in his profession, and won the confidence of his patients. 

In the third decade of the nineteenth century there practiced in 
Ilavei-straw a Dr. Lee for a time; also a Dr. Lapham, who had lost an 
arm. The latter physician belonged to the Eclectic school of medicine. 

There lived for many years in Nyack Dr. Benjamin Davidson, who 
died Feb. 25th, 1886, in the sixty-third year of his age. Dr. Davidson 
was a gentleman highly resi>ected by all who knew him. His kindly 
and cheering disposition encircled him with many friends. His skill as 
a physician and solicitude for his patients ai'e remembered by many who 
have been the recipients of liis services. 

At the present writing (1902) Rockland county has within its bor- 
ders thirty-five physicians. A brief notice so far as possible of the pres- 
ent medical population will be of interest. 

Dr. George A. Leitner, of Piermont, was born in his native village 
Sept. 14, 1865. He was a son of John and Christina Leitner, and 
received his education at the public schools of Piei-mont and at St. John's 
College, Fordham, where he received in due course the degrees of A. B. 
A. ]M. He gTaduated in medicine from Bellevue Hospital Medical Col- 
lege March 12th, 1888. His service as interne in St. Francis' Hospital 
in New York city extendetl during the years of 1888 and 1889. He is 
attending physician to St. Joseph's Asylum, Blauvelt, IST. Y. ; St. Agnes' 
Asylum, Sparkill, N. Y., and attending physician and surgeon to the 
Xyack Hospital. Dr. Leitner has practiced in Piermont and vicinity 
since Janiiary, 1890. He was elected coroner in 1892 and has been 
Health Officer of Orangetown since 1891. He is a member of the Rock- 
land County and State Medical Associations and American Medical Asso- 
ciation. He married, in 1894, Miss Maude Caiwillo, of Grand View, and 
three children have been born, Charles, Bertrand and Elizabeth. 

Dr. Jacob Cutwater Polhemus, the oldest physician of Nyack, was 
born at Clarkstown, 1834, son of Dr. John and Eliza Cutwater Polhe- 
mus. He received his early education in the Academy at Tappan and 
subsequently under the instruction of Rev. Dr. Penny, of Nyack. He 
was afterward sent to the Irving Institute at Tari-ytown for two years 
and then to Rutgers College, where he gi-adnated in 1854. Dr. Pol- 
hemus began the study of medicine under the guidance of his father and 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL PROFESSION. 215 

afterwards entered the office of Dr. Willard Parker, of !N^ew York. He 
graduated from the College of Physicians and Snrgeons in 1859. He 
began practice in C'larkstown, where he remained five years, and then 
removed to Nyack, where he has since resided. He is a pennanent mem- 
ber of the New York State Medical Society and attending physician and 
surgeon to the Nyack Hospital. He is a member of the Eockland County 
and New York State Medical Associations. He married Miss Christina 
Smith, daughter of Gen. David D. Smith, of Nyack, and they have three 
sons. 

Dr. GeiTit F. Blaiivelt, of Nyack, was bom in Orangeburg Aug. 1, 
1849, son of Cornelius G. and Ann M. Blauvelt. He was educated in 
New York city, graduating from the College of City of New York, A. B., 
1868. In medicine Dr. Blauvelt graduated from the College of Physi- 
cians and Sui'geons in 1873, and was house physician of Roosevelt Hos- 
pital 1873 and 1874. He practiced in New York city two years and 
then removed to Nyack, where he has since continued in practice. He 
was surgeon to the Outdoor Department of New York Hospital 1870 
to 1878, and is visiting surgeon and physician to the Nyack Hospital, 
and is President of the Rockland County Medical Association. Dr. 
Blauvelt married Miss Julia F. Dederer. There are no children. 

Dr. Edward H. Maynard, of Nyack, was born near Cazenovia, Mad- 
ison county, Feb. 4, 1850, the son of a retired farmer. He received Iiis 
education in his native town and at the Cazenovia Seminary. He grad- 
uated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York city, in 
1873, and served as interne in Bellevue Hospital in 1875. He entered 
upon practice in Nyack with Dr. J. O. Polhemus, with whom he 
remained for five years, when he opened a separate office in the same 
village. He is attending physician and surgeon at the Nyack Hos- 
pital and is a member of the Rockland Coimty and New York State 
Medical Associations. Dr. Maynard was Water Commissioner for 
several years and member of the Board of Education for the Village of 
Nyack. He married, in 1878, Miss Elsie De R. Morford, of Cazeno^aa, 
and they have one son and one daughter. 

Dr. Charles Demarest Kline, of Nyack, was bom in Bilauvelt, N. Y., 
Nov. 13, 1866, son of Michael and Maria C. Kline. He received his 
education in the Nyack Public and High Schools. He graduated in 
medicine from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, in 



216 HISTORY OF ROCKL,AND COUNTY. 

1892, and afterwards served as interne in St. Francis' Hospital, Xew 
York city. lie came to Nyack in 1894 and entered npon tlic practice 
of medicine witli Dr. J. O. Polliemus, with whom he remained for five 
years, when he opened a separate office. He is attending physician 
and surgeon to the Nyack Hospital and is also its treasurer. He 
is Health Officer of !Nyack. He is a member and one of the Fellows of 
the Eockland Coimty and the Xew York State Medical Associations. 
He married Miss Charita J. Hall, of New York. There arc no 
children. 

Dr. Samuel William Spencer Toms, of Nyack, was born in Elyria, 
Ohio, Dec. 11, 1861, son of Samuel and Elizabeth Spencer Toms. He 
received his education in the schools of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. He 
graduated from the School of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, 1882, 
and from the University of BufPalo (Medical Department) 1891, and 
served as hospital physician in Buffalo General Hospital in 1892. He 
entered upon practice at Bellport, Suffolk county. Long Island, for four 
years, when he removed to Nyack, in 1898, where he has since resided. 
He is an Instructor in the Post Granduate Medical School and Hospital, 
New York, since 1899, member of visiting staff of the Nyack Hospital, 
Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and member and Fel- 
low of the Rockland County and New York State Medical Associations 
and American Medical Association. He manned, in 1894, Miss Eliza- 
beth Bodell Orr, and they have one son. 

Dr. John C. Slawson, of Nyack, gradviated from the New York 
University in 1898, and settled in practice in Nyack in 1000. 

Dr. John Willington Sansom, of Pionnont, graduated at the Univer- 
sity of Vermont 1895 and settled in Piennont in 1900. 

The Nestor of physicians in Rockland county is Dr. Albert S. 
Zabriskie, of Suffern, who was born at Paramus, Bergen county, N. J., 
May 6, 1830, son of Stephen and Sarah Westervelt Zabriskie. He 
received his early education in the district school of his town, and later 
under the instruction of the Hon. Jacob R. Wortcndyke. He graduated 
with the degree of A. B. from the University of New York city in 18.51. 
He graduated in medicine from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, 
New York city, in 1855. He began the practice of medicine in Mahwali 
the same year, subsequently removing to Suffern, where ho has since 
resided. He mamed, in 1850, Miss Elizabeth Winter, of Mahwah, who 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL PROFESSION. 217 

died in 1860, without issue. On Dee. 31, 1861, he maiTied Miss Maria 
C. Wanamaker. Three chikh-en have been born to them, Mary S., Cath- 
erine and Eleanor. 

Dr. Sylvester Demarest, of Suffern, gradiiated from Bellevue Hos- 
pital Medical College in 1885. He is a member of the Rockland County 
Medical Society. 

Dr. Daniel Burr Van Wagonen, of Suffern, was bom in Spring Val- 
ley, April 10, 1859, son of William and Mary M. Burr Van Wagonen. 
He received his eai'ly education in the public schools of his native vil- 
lage and his classical education from Dr. A. S. Zabriskie, of Suffern. 
He graduated in medicine from the University of Vennont in 1884; also 
graduated in pharmacy in New Jersey. He was house physician in the 
old Chambers Street Hospital in New York, for one year. Dr. Van 
Wagonen began his practice in Sloatsburgh in 1884. The follo-n-ing 
year he removed to Closter, X. J., where he practiced one year, and then 
returned to Suffern. In 1887 he went to Binningham, Ala., but 
returned after a short period to Suffern, where be has since resided. He 
has been surgeon to the Erie li. R. for ten years, is attending physician 
to the Rockland County Alms House and is also attending surgeon to the 
Ramapo Car Works and the Ramapo Iron Works. He is Health Officer 
for the town of Ramapo and the village of Hillburn. He is a member 
of the New York State Medical Association, tlie Anu-rican Medical Asso- 
ciation, and vice president of the Rockland County Medical Asso- 
ciation. He married Miss Emma Sloat in 1889. They have two chil- 
dren (girls). 

Dr. Benjamin Van Ett«n Dolph, of Suffern, was graduat,ed from the 
Medical Department of the Syracuse University in 1899 and settled in 
Suffern in 1900. 

Dr. Albert O. Eogert, of Spring Valley, graduated in the College 
of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, 1875, and settled in practice in 
Spring Valley, where he has since resided. He is a member of the Rock- 
land Coimty Medical Society and visiting physician to St. Agatha Home. 
He is married. 

Dr. Wilhelm II. Keller, of Spring Valley, is a graduate of the New 
York ITniversity, 1889. He practiced for a time in Bayonne, N. J., sub- 
sequently in Stony Point, N. Y., and Spring Valley. 



218 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Dr. Frank E. Pagett, of Spring Valley, was bom May 27th, 1873, 
at Spring Valley, N. Y., son of Henry L. and II. Matilda Pagett. He 
received his education at the Spring Valley Union Free School and grad- 
uated in medicine from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Now 
York city, in 189G, and subsequently attended at the dispensai-y service 
in the Dispensary of the Roosevelt out patient department and Vander- 
bilt Clinic. He settled in Spring Valley in 1897, in practice, and is also 
an assistant in the Aural Clijiic New York Ear and Eye Dispensary and 
Hospital, New York city; also surgeon to the Erie R. R. and visiting 
physician to the Alms House. He is a member of the Rockland County 
Medical and the New York State Medical Associations. He married 
Miss Elizabeth Pitts, of Haverstraw. They have two children. 

Dr. N. B. Van Houten, of New City, who has practiced in New City 
for many years, is a graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, 
New York, 1867. 

Dr. James Alva Dingman was born in Prince Edward county, 
Ontario, Canada, Jime 22nd, 1848. He was the son of Joseph and Maria 
Dingman. He was educated at the Belleville Methodist College, Belle- 
ville, Ontario, Canada, and graduated in medicine from the Eclectic Med- 
ical College, Cincinnati, Ohio. After graduation he had hos2:)ital service 
and then entered vipon private practice in Florence, Oneida Co., N. Y., 
where he remained three years, when he became house physician for one 
year at "Our Home on the Hillside," a sanitarium in Dannisville, Tom- 
kins coimty. He then removed to Spring Valley, where he has remained 
for the past twenty-six years. He is a member of the Rockland County 
and New York State Medical Associations. Dr. Dingman married Miss 
Nellie C. Burnely, of Patei-son, N. J. They have had twelve children, 
ten of whom are living. The two oldest sons are students in the College 
of Physicians and Surgeons (Columbia), New York city. 

Dr. John Sengstacken, of Stony Point, was born Nov. 7, 18G2, in 
New York city, a son of John and Catherine Sengstacken. He received 
his education in the public schools of New York city, and graduated in 
medicine from the University ^Medical College, New York city, 18S9, 
and had private practice under Dr. William M. Polk, New York city. 
He practiced under Dr. William Y. Keeler, New York, a few months 
and then came to Stony Point, where he has since resided. He has held 
the offices of coroner, member of Board of Education, Health Officer, 




JOHN ilABIE IIASBROUCK, M.D. 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL PROFESSION. 219 

ten years, and trustee of tlie ]\Ietliodist Clmrch. He is a memljer and 
secretary of the Rockland County Medical Society. He married ^liss 
Florence Couch and they have two sons, Florence B. and Royal F. 

Dr. Isaac S. Vreeland, of Stony Point, was graduated from the Uni- 
versity Medical College of I^ew York in 1876. He has practiced in 
Waverly, N". Y., and removed to Stony Point in 1899. He is married. 

Dr. JSTonnan Brigham Bayley, of Haverstraw, was born Sept. 17th, 
1847, in Mansiield, Conn., son of Joshua and Andalusia (Merrick) Bay- 
ley. He received his early education in the district schools of his native 
town and under the instruction of his father, and later was prepared for 
college in a private school in his native town. He graduated from the 
Medical Department of Yale University July 11, 1871. He sensed the 
following ye-ar as house physician in the Connecticut State Hospital, 
l^ew Haven, Conn., and subsequently in the Out Door Department of 
Bellevue Hospital, New York city. He practiced a short time in Sey- 
mour, Conn., then removed to Brewster, Putnam county, ]^. Y., where he 
remained until 1883. He pursued a post graduate course in the 
New York Policlinic School and Hospital and the New York Eye and 
Ear Infinnary, and in 1885 removed to Haverstraw, where he has since 
continued in practice. He was Health Officer for several years. He is 
secretary and treasurer of the Rockland County Medical Association and 
member of the New York State and American Medical Associations, 
and also of the Yale Alumni Medical Society. He married, in 1872, 
iliss Etta Hemion, of Preakness, N. J. They have no children living. 

Dr. John Mabie Hasbrouck, of West Haverstraw, was born at Port 
Ewen, Ulster county, Oct. 22, 1862, a son of Dr. Josiali and Ellen J. 
Blauvelt Hasbrouck. He received his education in the public schools 
and graduated from the Rockland Institute, Nyack, N. Y. He studied 
at both the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, and Belle- 
vue Hospital ]\[edical College, New York, receiving his diploma from 
the latter institution in 1864. He served six months in the Ambulance 
Department of Bellevue Hospital. He came to West Haverstraw in 
September, 1884, where he has since remained. He is a member and 
treasurer of the Rockland County Medical Society. He has been trus- 
tee and President of the village of West Haver.straw for a period of 
twelve years. He was treasurer of Rockland county for three years. 
He is unmarried. 



220 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Dr. John Howard Crosby, of Ilaverstraw, was born in London, Eng., 
April 17tli, 1873. He was educated in the public schools of Yannontli, 
Nova Scotia. He graduated in medicine from Long Island College Hos- 
pital, Brooklyn, N. Y., in 1895. He served two years at the New Jersey 
State Hospital, Morris Plains, N. J., and two years at the Manhattan 
State Hospital, Ward's Island, New York city. He came to Haverstraw 
in 1899, where he has since resided. He belongs to the Rockland 
County and the New York State Medical Associations. He married 
Miss Catherine Eose. They have no children. 

Dr. Samuel Sherwell Carter, of Haverstraw, was bom in Denipsey 
township, Venango county. Pa., May 27th, 1869. He received his edu- 
cation at Grove City College, Pa. His medical education was obtained 
at the Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn, N. Y'"., graduating in 
1895. He immediately began practice in Ashland, Green county, N. Y., 
where he was elected coroner. He removed to Haverstraw in 1898. He 
is unmarried. 

Dr. Eugene B. Laird, of Haverstraw, was born in New York city in 
1855. He received his education in the public and grammar schools of 
New York city and the New York Free College. He graduated in med- 
icine from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York city, in 
1877. He had hospital work for two years and then engaged in practice 
in Brooklyn for two years and also a short time in Monmouth county, 
N. J., and came to Haverstraw in 1881. He has held the position of cor- 
oner and pension examiner and is Health Officer of the town and village, 
also president of the Eockland County Medical Society. He married, in 
1879, Miss Clayton, of Long Branch, N. J. They have five children. 

Dr. Virginia M. Davis, of Congers, is a graduate of the Woman's 
Medical College, New York city, of the class of 1886. She is married 
and has several children. 

Dr. John M. Gillette, of Sloatsburg, is a graduate of the New York 
University Medical College, New York city, of 1892. 

Dr. Eobert E. Felter, of Pearl Eiver, is a graduate of the New York 
University Medical College of New York city, 1894. He served one 
term as school commissioner of Eockland county. 

Dr. Louis Bradford Couch, of Nyack, is a graduate of the New York 
Homeopathic College, 1874, and also of the New York Ophthalmic Hos- 
]iital. He is a member of the American Institute of Homeopatliy. He 
married IMiss Natalie Kreuder. They have three children. 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL, PROFESSION. 221 

Dr. J. William Giles, of Nyack, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 
3rd, 1862, and received his education in the pnlilic schools of Xew York 
city and Leuderbach Academy, West Philadelphia, Pa. lie i;raduated 
in medicine from the Hahnemann Medical College, Philadelphia, Pa., 
in 1885. Subsequent to his graduation he was resident physician Chil- 
dren's Homeopathic Hospital, Philadelphia, Demonstrator of Suri;ery, 
Hahnemann's Medical College, Philadelphia, and sui'geon to the Chil- 
dren's Homeopathic Hospital and Camden Homeopathic Hospital. He 
practiced in Philadelphia until 1890. Since that time in Nyack. He is 
married, his wife being Miss Henrietta Peck. They have three children, 
Vincent Avery, Estelle and Chauncey. 

Dr. Sylvester Straut Bogert, of Pearl River, was born in Pearl River 
September 23rd, 1844, the son of David N. and Phoebe A. Bogert. He 
received his education in the public school of Orangetown and graduated 
in medicine from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, 
1865. He practiced medicine in New York city for nearly thirty-six 
yeare and removed to Pearl River November, 1901. He ha^ held the 
following positions: House Physician to East^ern Dispensaiy, New 
York, attending physician to New York Dispensary, surgeon to the Met- 
ropolitan Street Railway Co. He is married. 

Dr. Gertmde Hammond Harper, of Spring Valley, was born near 
Wurzburg, Bavaria, Germany, 1834, the daughter of Nicholas and 
Margareth Hummel. She received her education at Vienna, Austria. 
She graduated in medicine from the New York Medical College and 
Hospital for Women in 1867, and has practiced since her graduation at 
Spring Valley. She has been lecturer and essayist at St. Mark's Litei'ary 
Society, New York city. She is a widow and has one son 

Dr. T. C. Wood, of Haverstraw, was born in Rockaway, N. J., in 
1853. He received his education in the Medical Department of the New 
York University in 1879. He has practiced in Haverstraw since that 
date, with the exception of four years, when he practiced in New York 
city. He can-ies on a drug store in connection with his pi'actice. 

Perhaps there is no other test more significant of scientific zeal and 
love for the profession of medicine than membership in medical asso- 
ciations. Some men have the faculty for searching into the ditficult and 
the capability of studying the results of experimentation ; others can note 
with precision Nature's phenomena and make useful deductions, while 



222 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

others can bring all these departments of knowledge together, correlate 
the factors having cognate relationslui> and deduce the practical appli- 
cation for everyday use. In the medical associations all these workers 
bring their harvest, where the winnowing process sifts the wheat and 
blows the chaff away. Medical societies are of rather recent growth. In 
the earlier and sparsely inhabited portions of a new country — such as oure 
was — the practical application of knowledge must be at first hand. The 
study of any science, requiring time, leisure and money, must wait until 
the culture and wealth makes such conditions possible. In the earlier 
Colonial days the fewness of physicians, the long distances intervening 
between them, made insuperable obstacles to medical association. The 
first coiinty medical society formed in this country was about one cen- 
tury ago, in Litchfield county. Conn. It is therefore no wonder that one 
hundred years elapsed after the first settlement of a physician in this 
county before steps were taken to bring physicians into closer relation- 
ship. The first record of the formation of a medical society in Rockland 
coiinty was in 1829. Dr. Abram Cornelison, of Clarkstown, was its firet 
president and Dr. Abram DuBois Cornelison, of Haverstraw, its first 
secretary. 

The society does not seem to have flourished and after a few years 
of disconcerted effort, it fell into decadence. The records of the society 
are lost, but Dr. John Polhemiis, of Clarkstown, was during its contin- 
uance, at different times, both its president and secretary. It is not now 
kno\vTi who were its members, aside from the names above noted. 

Subsequently, in 1850, the old society was resuscitated, with Dr. 
John Demarest, of Spring Valley, as president. Dr. M. C. Hasbrouck, 
of Nyack, vice president; Dr. Charles Whipple, Haverstraw, secretaiy; 
Daniel R. Reeves, Clarkstown, treasurer. There were present at the 
reorganization of the society Dr. John Demarest, Dr. M. C. Hasbrouck, 
Dr. Charles Whipple, Dr. Daniel R. Reeves, Dr. Spenser S. Sloat, Dr. 
James A. Hopson, Dr. Isaac C. Haring, Dr. James J. Stephens, Dr. 
Jacob S. Wigton, Dr. Lucius Isham, Dr. John Perdue and Dr. Charles 
Hasbrouck, of New Jersey, a goodly number. Since its reorganization 
the society has periodicallj' flourished, having its ebb and flow tides, but 
on tlic whole doing fair work for a period of thirty years, when it again 
fell into a lethargic condition. Since 1880 little attention has been paid 
to the society by the medical profession of the county. Its meetings 



& 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL PROFESSION. 223 

have been held irregularly, scarcely any scientific work has been 
attempted, and judging from the secretary's i-ather scanty records more 
attention has been paid to charges against its members for violation of 
the "code of ethics" than to medical discussion. That there has been 
little interest manifested in the welfare of the society is expressed in the 
fact that tliei'o has bt^en no change in its chairman for twenty years. 
The following physicians have been at some time members of the Rock- 
land County Society since 1850, in addition to those above named: 

Urs. Daniel Lake, C. H. Austin, Bernard O'Blenis, G. J. Hammond, 
William Govan, T. B. Smith, William S. House, Benjamin Davidson, 
J. 0. Polhemus, H. H. House, Henry Eeisberg, C. H. Mastcn, Frank 
Hasbroiick, Rykman U. Bogert, C. H. Neer, John Sullivan, J. Hcng- 
gler, J. W. Swift, George A. Mursick, C. L. Humphrey, W. S. Steven- 
son, Isaac J. Wells, George 0. Lockwood, iST. B. Van Houtcn, E. H. 
Maynard,* C. H. Ten Eyck, Albert O. Bogert,* Dr. Gerrit F. Blauvelt,* 

E. B. Laird,* Daniel Wemple, T. C. Wood, Frank Lavassur, J. M. Has- 
brouck,* John Sengstacken,* Sylvester Demarcst,* William H. Keller,* 

F. E. Pagett,* B. V. Dolph. Secretary, Dr. John Sengstacken; Treas- 
urer, D. J. M. Hasbrouck. 

Just recently this society has shown new signs of activity. The 
present membership is a small proportion of the profession in the county. 
The following members have been president of the society since 1850: 
Dr. John Demarest, 1850-1853; Dr. Caleb H. Austin, 1854; Dr. John 
Perdue, 1855; Dr. J. C. Haring, 1856-1859; Dr. John Demarcst, 
1860-1861; Dr. Moses C. Hasbrouck, 1862-65; Dr. Spenser S. Sloat, 
1866-1867; Dr. T. Blanche Smith, 1868-1869; Dr. Jacob S. AVigton, 
1870-1871; Dr. Daniel Lake, 1872; Dr. William Govan, 1873; Dr. J. 
O. Polhemus, 1874; Dr. C. H. Masten, 1875 and 1880; Dr. James J. 
Stephens, 1876 and 1877; Dr. James A. Hopson, 1878; Dr. Edward H. 
Maynard, 1879; Dr. Gerrit F. Blauvelt, 1881; Dr. A. O. Bogert, 1882; 
Dr. E. B. Laird, 1883-1902. 

Owing to the decadence of the Rockland County Medical Society, 
the medical profession of the county felt the need of a new and active 
society which should harmonize and stimulate to greater scientitic zeal 
the physicians of the county. With this end in view and with the aid of 
the New York State Medical Association, an organization was effected in 

* Inidioalte those who have beiein, members in the laislt five years. 



224 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

September, 1901, at Nyack, called the Rockland County Medical Asso- 
ciation, which is iu afHliatiou with the American Medical Association, 
and which has shown an enthusiasm which betokens for the future a 
career of activity and usefulness. At its meetings, which are held at 
least quarterly, most excellent papers and discussions have been given, 
which have excited a lively interest and are of permanent value. It 
comprises among its members many of the prominent physicians of the 
county, who have had large experience in hospital and private practice 
and includes all the physicians connected with the Nyack Hospital. The 
president of the society is Dr. Gerrit F. Blauvelt, Nyack, 1901 and 1902; 
vice president, Dr. D. Burr Van Wagonen; secretary and treasurer. Dr. 
N. B. Bayley; Fellows to the State Association, Dr. S. W. S. Toms, 
alternate. Dr. Charles D. Kline. The following are its membership: 
Dr. George A. Leitner, Dr. S. W. S. Toms, Dr. Gen-it F. Blauvelt, Dr. 
John O. Polhemus, Dr. Edward H. Maynard, Dr. Charles D. Kline, 
Dr. John C. Slawsou, Dr. John W. Sansom, Dr. James A. Dinginan, 
Dr. F. E. Pagett, Dr. D. Burr Van Wagonen, Dr. N. B. Bayley, Dr. S. 
S. Carter, Dr. J. Howard Crosby, Dr. Robert R. Felter. 

There have doubtless been many who have practiced the healing art 
of whom we have no record, or merely that of their names, who have 
passed away. They have lived, they labored as no other men except 
physicians ever will labor, they died. Yet though the names of these 
simple country physicians be foi'gotten, their work lives. It is through 
these earnest men that Medicine has advanced, ceased to be a theory 
and has Wcome a science. They have mot pestilence and from their 
battle %vith it has arisen the science of quarantine and preventitive 
medicine. 

They have seen the agony produced by the knife, and to alleviate it 
discovered anaesthesia; with it the perils of childbirth have been over- 
come and its pains diminished. Bacteriology has been elevated to a sci- 
ence; asepsis has been transferred from a flattering theory to a hard, 
stern fact, which every surgeon is practicing today, recovering the health 
and saving the lives of multitudes. Thus the science and art of medicine 
is rearing its citadel to Heaven, having but one object in view, not gain, 
not power, not principalities, but simply to relieve the sufferings of man- 
kind. 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL PROFESSION. 225 

There is uo better exeniplificatiou of that Christian ethic '"Love thy 
neighbors as thy self" and the advancement of Christian civilization than 
the foundation of hospitals and institutions for the care of those who 
have been so imfortiuiate as to suffer from disease, deformity, injury or 
the want of parental care. 

There is nothing more impressive in our present civilization, when 
compared with former times, than the number and mag"nificence of these 
beneficiary institutions, whose beneficence like mercy 

" dpoppeth as the g-entle rain from heaven 

Upon the place beneaith, it is twice blest. 

It blesseth him thoA gives and him that takes." 

(Merchant of Vendee) . 

There are but few towns of five thousand inhabitants today which 
does not have its hospital. In the work of a hospital the physicians and 
nurses are the creators and dispensers of its benefits. Hospitals are the 
training schools for physicians and nurses, institutions where ordei'ly care, 
systematic treatment and scientific investigations can go hand in hand. 
Without these institutions no progress worthy of the name would have 
been made in medical science; the great discoveries and advancement in 
surgical technique and treatment which would never have been dreamed 
of — diagnosis, pathology and treatment would have remained theoretical 
guesswork. The benefits which acciiie to the people of any town which 
supports a hospital are of a double nature; while the poor and indigent 
are systematically receiving scientific treatment, the experience and 
knowledge gained thereby is reflected in the scientific care and treatment 
which the general public receives from such physicians and nurses, who 
have opportunities for the perfection of methods and means in the appli- 
cation of the art of the practice of medical and surgical technics. 

TJie project of estaldishing a hospital in Nyack was slowly developed; 
physicians from time to time when some peculiar case arose which de- 
manded hospital treatment, would discuss the practicability of founding 
such an institution and talk the matter over with their friends. Finally, 
in 1891, it was formally decided to work for a hospital and progress was 
made so far that on December 22nd, 1894, a certificate of incorporation 
was executed, with twenty gentlemen of Nyack named as incorporators, 
of whom six were physicians. As the Hospital will be historically con- 
sidered under its appropriate head, the medical aspects are only dealt 
with here. The Hospital was finished and opened for the reception of 



226 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

patients on January 1st, 1000. The Hospital LuilJings arc simple but 
pleasing in design and are so built as to admit easily of additions. The 
internal arrangements are equally well planned, the hard and smooth 
walls present a pleasing appearance and aiford fewer breeding places for 
infectious germs and give a facility for cleanliness. The medical and 
surgical armamentarium has been carefully selected and is of modern re- 
quirements. But more important than all else is the high standard aimed 
at in the quality and character of the work performed; in these respects 
the Nyack Hospital does not suffer in comparison with the large metro- 
politan hospitals.. A brief summary of the work from the date of its 
opening to Oct. 1, 1901, is appended. There have been a total of 
one hundred and seventy-two patients treated in its wards, of which num- 
ber one hundred and thirty-six recovered; nineteen improved: two unim- 
proved, and fifteen deaths. There have further been treated sixty-one 
patients free in the Dispensary. There have been perfonned one hun- 
dred and twenty-seven operations, embracing a wide diversity in charac- 
ter and pathology. The larger proportion of cases are surgical, as med- 
ical cases can, if necessary, be cared for at home. The following 
members of the medical profession compose the medical and surgical 
staff of the Nyack Hospital: Dr. J. 0. Polhemus, Dr. Gamt F. Blau- 
velt. Dr. Edward H. Maynard, Dr. Charles D. Kline, Dr. George A. 
Leitner, Dr. S. W. S. Toms, Dr. AV. C. McKceby (removed from Xy- 
ack); Dr. Charles H. Masten consulting physician until his death; Dr. 
Frank Hartly, New York city, consulting surgeon ; Dr. George M. Ede- 
bolils, of J^ew York city, consulting gyneologist; Dr. Edward L. Oat- 
men, New York city, consulting ophthalmologist; Superintendent, Miss 
Gertiiide Montfort. 

Dr. Charles H. Masten, who had been actively identified in the 
workings of the Hospital, died May 1, 1902. He left a legacy to the 
Hospital of about $20,000, which will erect a much needed addition to 
the building and increase manyfold its beneficent influence. In be- 
queathing this legacy to the Nyack Hospital Dr. Masten has erected a 
lasting monument to his memory, and in thus peii^etuating the good 
which he did in his life by providing means for caiTying it on after death 
he has well made himself the "beloved physician." 

There are as yet no other hospitals in Rockland county. There are 
institutes for the caxe and treatment of oi^phaus, under ecclesiastical con- 



ROCKLAND COUNTY MEDICAL PROFESSION. 227 

trol, but as they are not public institutions they will be treated under 
their respective heads. 

Early in the Revolution after the disastrous battle of Long Island, 
the amiy hospital was removed to Tappan. The medical staff consisted 
of William Shippen, Chief Physician of the Flying Camp ; Isaac Foster, 
Department Director General; Arnni R. Cutler, Physician General of 
the Hospital; Philip Turner, Surgeon General of the Hospital; William 
Burritt, Physician and Surgeon General of the Army. Besides these 
were Surgeon Van der Weyde, who with George Clinton escaped capture 
after the surrender of Fort Clinton by swimming across the Hudson 
river, and Dr. James Thatcher, whose "Military Diary" has preserved 
many of the events of the War of Independence for us. (Greene's His- 
tory Rockland Co.). 

The dental profession is closely allied to the medical. In fact, it is a 
specialty of the medical profession, but has been separated from it to 
some extent, as the special training of dentists is conducted separately 
from that for medical students, as the latter requires a large amoimt of 
study which has but little value to the former. In former times the sur- 
gical part of dental work was perfonned by physicians, but the mechani- 
cal part has always been peculiarly his own field, and is not encroached 
upon by the physician or surg'eon. 

As the number of dentists in this county is too few for any organized 
society there has never been any record of the first one who practiced this 
specialty. The earlier dentists were probably those who learned tlieir art 
by serving an apprenticeship until a sufficient mastery of their work was 
olitained. Thei-e have been many excellent dentists who learned their 
art in this manner, as was the custom in fonner times for physicians. 

Of the eai'lier dentists who practiced in this county mention may be 
made of Dr. Miles Davenport, who practic-ed for a time in Haverstraw, 
but mostly in Nyack, and Dr. George Wright Davenport, who practiced 
in Xyack until 1875. He was a graduate of the Baltimore College of 
Dental Surgery in 1861. 

Dr. H. C. Gilchrest, of jSTyack, began his dental study under Dr. 
George Wright Davenport, and afterwards entering the Pennsylvania 
Dental College, Philadelphia, Pa., graduated in 1871. Dr. J. T. Gil- 
chrest, son of Dr. H. C. Gilchrest, began his dental study under his 



228 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

father's guidance, afterwards entering the New York College of Den- 
tistry, graduating in 1895. The two Dr. Gilchrests reside and practice 
in Nyack. 

The list of dentists in Rockland county at present so far as can be 
obtained are as follows: James E. Blauvelt, Nyack; K. H. Murrav, 
Nyack; G. S. Writer, D. D. S., Nyack; H. G. Gilchrest, D. D. S., 
Nyack; J. T. Gilchrest, D. D. S., Nyack; George F. Appleton, M. D., 
Haverstraw; Emilio Vincent Marquez, D. D. S., Haverstraw; H. Van- 
derbilt, D. D. S., Suffem. 

Dr. John E. Crawford, who practiced dentistry in Haverstraw iov 
several years, died in 1890 and is survived by a widow and son. 

Dr. George F. Appleton practiced medicine at one time in Haver- 
straw and New City. He is a graduate of the Bellevue Hospital Medical 
College, 1877. He gave up the practice of medicine and entered into 
the dental practice a few years ago and is located in Haverstraw. 

Dr. Emilio Vincent Marquez is a gTaduate of the Philadelphia Den- 
tal College, 1876, and has practiced dentistry in Haverstraw since 188G. 



BENCH AND BAR. 229 



CHAPTEE XV. 
BENCH AND BAE. 

By Hon. .\lonzo Wheeler. 

Tlio task of gathering sufficient information and reliable data upon 
which to prepare an authentic and interesting history of the Bench and 
Bar of Eockland county has been attended with many difficulties. And 
one of the things which has hindered and delayed its preparation is the 
strange reluctance on the part of many of the lawyers now in practice 
and the relatives and descendants of those of former years to impart 
the knowledge necessary for the construction of an entirely accurate 
and satisfactory account. 

The writer has found this work of preparation an exceedingly con- 
genial employment and has striven to overcome the obstacles which have 
from time to time arisen. 

In the accomplishment of this work he has, as it were, established 
most cordial relations with the men of the past, whose learning and dig- 
nity upon the Bench and at the Bar excite the admiration, whose intog- 
rity compels the respect of all who have cared to look into that past, and 
whose simplicity of life and manner give to the record a charm that it is 
delightful to contemplate. 

And in the gathering of details the consideration of the nearer past 
has brought to the memory of the writer many who in that time, the 
time of his youth, were the best known and most eminent in the profes- 
sion with which this article is to deal ; who in that day were looked upon 
by the youth and the common people a.s prodigies of learning and legal 
skill, who have long .since passed from the activities in which they were 
then engaged, and have been succeeded by a host of others more active, 
more aggressive, many of whom have in their day enjoyed reputations 
of which they were justly proud, and many of whom live to-day engaged 
in the never ending struggle for supremacy. For it is a feature of the 
legal profession that it presents possibilities of preferment, of honor and 
of fame, of responsibility and power, which appeal to the honorable ambi- 
tion tliorebv incited, with ereator force often than does the nocessitv for 



230 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

bread. And yet -with many it is alwaj-s and only a struggle for bi-ead, 
for bare maintenance, and is continually a life of discouragement and 
failure. 

While the territorial area of Rockland coimty is small, and by com- 
parison with other counties the number of its lawyers is also small, yet 
its record for the character, ability and success of the local Bar will com- 
pare favorably with that of most of the counties of the State. 

Indeed, Rockland county may justly boast of its eminent lawyers 
and of many of its able judges, whose names have become prominent, 
not only in the practice of law, l)Ut in various other departments of pub- 
lic life. While in its earlier history its population was small, and the 
modest and easily satisfied wants of its inhabitants tended to the peaceful 
settlement of controversies, and tlie luxury of litigation in the courts 
was comparatively unknown, yet for half a century or more its general 
development and growth, its increase of population and multiplication 
of business interests have been rapid and marked, and the adjustment 
of property rights, and the protection and enforcement of personal and 
contract obligations, have created the necessity for that high order of 
legal talent which reflects honor upon the coiinty, and which has pre- 
sented prominently before the people, not only of the county, Init of the 
State and nation, the names of men whom any genei-ation and jurisdic- 
tion might delight to honor. 

The legal battles which have been waged in Rockland county have, , 
for the most part, been fought in the old Court House at New City. The 
establishment of the county seat at New City was due to causes which to 
the reflective and discerning mind will become at once apparent. First, 
at the time of its selection there were no railroads, and as all persons 
going there were compelled to drive, it was as easily accessible from all 
parts of the county as any other place that might have been chosen. Sec- 
ond, and principally, because the land was conveyed in trust for public 
])nrposes and was in the nature of a gift to the county, for we liml tlie 

interesting record in the County Clerk's oflice that one Gerow 

in the exercise of a commendable public spirit, by deed, created the trust 
of which the county has ever since enjoyed the benefit. 

The Court House which for many years amply subserved the pur- 
pose for which it was intended was erected in 1827-8, and for the same 
period the ofiices of the County Clerk and Surrogate were contained in 



BENCH AND BAR. 231 

a small building on the same propei'ty and to the south of the Court 
House. 

In 1872 the Court House building was greatly enlarged and 
improved, and suitable accommodations for the county records, the Sur- 
rogate's Court and the records pertaining to estates, together with rooms 
for the judges, District Attorney, Sheritf and Board of Supeiwisors were 
included. 

But so great has been the increase in the public business since the 
said improvements were made that at this writing the accommodations 
for records both in the offices of the County Clerk and Surrogate are 
wholly inadequate, and it is to be hoped that the interest of the county 
autliorities in this important matter will be at length sufficiently aroused, 
and their intelligence so quickened as to enable them to see that econ- 
omy does not consist in the withholding of an exjwnditure of the peo- 
ple's money in a matter in which the people themselves are so vitally 
interested. 

In the earlier history, the Court having the jurisdiction now vested 
in the County Court was known as the Court of Common Pleas. 

The first Court of Common Pleas held in the county after its sep- 
aration from Orange county, which was in the year 1798, convened at 
New City on the first Tuesday of May, 1798. 

Of this Court John Suflern was First Judge, Benjamin Coe and 
James Perry were known as Judges and Abraham Onderdonk as Assist- 
ant Judge. 

The peaceful character of the people and the absence of causes for 
litigation in the early history of the Court are apparent from the fact 
that there were times in the first ten years when even the judges failed 
to appear at the regularly appointed terms of the Court, for it appears 
from the record that at the IVlay term of 1801, none of the Judges beiiig 
present, the Court was adjourned by the Clerk to the next afternoon at 
four o'clock, and that no judge having then appeared, it was adjourned to 
the next November. 

Among the attomies who appear upon the Court records within that 
period were Samuel Smith, Peter Ogilvie, John Oppie, Thomas Smith, 
Robert Campbell, James Scott Smith, Jonathan Pearsie, Jr., Charles 
Thompson, William A. DePeyster and Robert MoitIs Ogden. 

The office of First Judge was held bv John Suffern until 1806. It 



232 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

is evident that the distingTiislied lionor conferred upon Judge Suffern 
by this appointment was well merited; and the characteristic qualities 
which obtained for him the jjositions of responsibility and influence 
which he from time to time held were transmitted to an honored and 
inHueutial line of descendants. 

John Suffern was born near Antrim, Ireland, on the 23d of Novem- 
ber, 1741. He came to this country in 17G3, landing in Philadelphia on 
the 6th of August. ' In September, 1773 he settled at New Antrim, 
which afterwards assumed his family name, and has ever since been and 
is now known as "Suffern," being situated at the extreme western limit 
of Rockland county. He became the owner of a large and valuable 
estate in the town of Eamapo. He continued to reside at Suffern until 
his death, which occiuTcd on the 11th of Novembei", 1836. During the 
war of independence he held the office of Justice of the Peace and was 
a member of the Coimnittee for Orange county below the mountain. 
He represented his district in the Legislature of 1781, and before the 
separation of Eockland county from Orange coiiuty he was County Treas- 
WTer of the latter county. The following is a copy of the commission 
by authority of which he held the office of First Judge, to Mat: 

" COMMISSION to John Suffern, Esq., as First Judge of the County 
of Eockland, Passed the Secretary's office the 6th day of 
April, 1798. 

"(signed) JASPEE HOPPEE, 

D. Secretary. 
" The People of the State of New York, by the Grace of God Free 
and Independent, to all to whom these presents shall come. Greeting: — 
" KNOW YE that we have assigned and constituted, and by these 
presents do assign and constitute our trustworthy and well beloved John 
Suffern, Esq., to be the Firet Judge of our Court of Common Pleas to 
be holden in and for our county of Rockland, with full power unto him, 
the said John Suffern, to exercise, fulfill, do and perform all powers and 
jurisdiction which unto the office of Fii"st Jiulge of the said Coiirt do or 
may belong: And we do hereby authorize and empower the said John 
Suffern, together with the other Judges and Assistant Justice of our said 
Court of Common Pleas to be holden in and for our said county, or any 
three of them, for the time being, (whereof we will the said John Suf- 
fern or either of the other Justices of the said Court for the time being 



BENCH AND BAR. 233 

to be one), to licar, tiy and determine by a jury of twelve good and law- 
ful freeholders of tlie same county all suits, quarrels, controversies and 
differences cognizable in our said Court and arising in our county afore- 
said between any of the good people of our said State there according to 
the laws and ordinances in that behalf made and provided and to award 
execution thereupon and to use and exercise all the powers and juris- 
dictions to the said Court belonging. To have and to hold, exercise and 
enjoy the said office of First Judge of the said Court of C'omnaon Pleas 
to be holden in and for our said county of Rockland with all the powers, 
jurisdictions and authorities thereunto belonging unto him, the said 
.Tolm Suifern, for and during such time as he shall well behave himself 
tlieroiii, or until he shall attain the age of sixty years. 

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF wo have caused these letters 
to bo made patent and the great seal of our said State to be lici^e- 
unto affixed. AVITNESS, our trusty and well beloved John Jay, 
Esq., Governor of our said State, General and Commander-in- 
Chief of all the Militia, and Admiral of the Navy of the same, 
by and with the advice and consent of our Council of Appoint- 
ment at our City of Albany, the twenty-first day of March, in 
the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety- 
eight, and the twenty-second year of our indejjendence. 

" JOHN JAY." 
In 1806 James PeiTy was appointed Fii"st Judge. His associates 
were Peter D. W. Smith, Richard BLiuvelt, Andrew Suifern, John T. 
Gurnee and Jeremiah W. Pierson. 

In 1816 Samuel Goetchius became First Judge and continued in the 
office imtil 1820. 

In 1820 Edward Suffeni, son of John Suffeni, was appoint'Cd First 
Judge and remained in the office until 1847. At the time of his appoint- 
ment to the Judgeship he held the office of District Attorney, to which 
he was appointed in the year 1816. He was born at Suffeni, and was 
admitted to practice at the bar in 1810. In 1826 and 1835 he repre- 
sented the county in the Assembly, and in 1852 was made a Presidential 
elector. From the Court records it is evident that immediately upon his 
admission to the bar he entered \ipon a large practice which rapidly grow 
into a more extensive business. He died at Suffern in the year 1873. 



234 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Prior to the year 1847 tlie offices of Judge and Surrogate were sep- 
arate, and the duties of the latter office were by no means onerous. Sim- 
plicity itself marked the methods of those days, but affairs were admin- 
istered with dignity, and with much intelligence and unquestioned integ- 
rity by those holding these positions of trust and responsibility. 

litigation over the estates of the dead was pj'actically unknown. 
The biisiness of the SiiiTogate's Court rapidly increased until it has 
become a great volume, involving and presenting every phase of contro- 
versy, legal and equitable of which such Courts may have cognizance. 

The first Surrogate of Kockland county was Peter Tallman, who 
had represented Orange county in the State Ijegislature in the years 
1787 and 1788, and was a member of the Constitutional Convention in 
1801. Mr. Tallman held the office of Surrogate until 1807, and again 
from ISOS to 1810. The office was held by Tunis Smith in 1807, and by 
liichard Blauvclt from 1811 to 1820. Mr. Blauvelt was a Presidential 
elector in 1824. 

Bernard O'Blenis held the office for one year in 1820-'21, and was 
succeeded by James Stevens, by whom the office was filled until 1S2S, 
when he was elected County Clerk. John Vanllouten was the incum- 
bent from 1828 to 18.37 and was succeeded by John J. Wood. Mr. 
Wood was known even dowm to the time of his death as a man of strong 
character, of superior intelligence and a wise counselor. He was a mem- 
ber of the Constitutional Convention of 184(3 and also of tlie 20th 
Congress. 

In 1841 George Benson became Surrogate and served four years. 
He was succeeded by Horatio G. Prall, who served until 1847, ivom 
which time the offices of County Judge and Surrogate have becTi held 
by the same person. 

Horatio G. Prall was one of the most honored members of the Rock- 
land county Bar, and the memory of his private and official life, more 
especially of his later yeai-s, remains with many still living. He was 
tall of stature and of dignified appearance. He was correct and fluent 
as a speaker. As a lawyer of ability and integrity he was the peer of any 
of his eminent co-temporaries in the profession. As a citizen he was 
most exemplary, as a friend he was true, kind and gentle. In short, he 
was not only an able lawyer and advocate, but he was also that highest 
type of man, a Christian gentleman. He filled the office of District 



BENCH AND BAR. 235 

Attorney from 1847 to 1853, and always maintained a large and liiera- 
tive private practice. 

In 1847 William F. Frazer was elected County Judge and Surro- 
gate, which offices he held for two terms of four years each. 

Judge Frazer had previously held the office of District Attorney, 
to which he had been appointed in 1833, and in which he continued at 
the time of liis appointment to the Judgeship. 

F/dward Pye was elected County Judge in 1855 and served one term. 
Judge Pye was a man of fair ability as a lawyer, and as Judge performed 
all the diities of the office most acceptably. 

lie possessed many sterling qualities of character, and was highly 
esteemed by all classes of society. He was a member of the Central 
Presbyterian Church of Haverstraw, of which the lamented Dr. Free- 
man was pastor for fifty-two years. He was at one time President of the 
Village of Haveretraw. 

Judge Pye was a lover of music and for several years was the leader 
of the choir of Dr. Freeman's Church. During the Civil War he 
entered the army and became Colonel of the 95th Regiment, IST. Y. Vol- 
unteers. He died June 12th, 1864, of wounds received in the Battle of 
Cold Harbor. 

Judge Pye was succeeded in the office of County Judge and Surro- 
gate by Andrew E. Suffem of Haverstraw, who continued in the office 
imtil his death, on the 16th day of March, 1881. 

Judge Suffern will probably always stand forth as one of the most 
Itrilliant personalities Rockland county has ever produced. He pos- 
sessed in a remarkable degree the gift of fluency in speecli, \\liicli wiili 
the added power and advantage of the highest culture and most thor- 
ough scholarship made him a prince among orators whom the people 
delighted to hear. He possessed a tenor voice of great penetration and 
carrying power, and the announcement that Judge SuflFeni was to speak 
upon any occasion was always sufficient to insure a large gathering of 
the people. He was bom at Suffem at the homestead where his father, 
Edward Suffem, and his grandfather, John Suffern, had lived and 
served their generation. He was graduated from the University of New 
York, studied law, and resided and practiced in Haverstraw during the 
remainder of his life. In 1853 he became District Attorney, which posi- 
tion he held at the time he was elected County Judge. Owing to his 



236 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

high strung, nervous temperament he naturally created strong antag- 
onisms, but his friendships were firm and abiding and- he was most 
beloved by those who knew him best. He was for several years Chief of 
the Commission of Appeals of tlie Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted 
Masons in this State and was an authority on Masonic law and procedure. 

Seth B. Cole of Nyack was appointed to fill the vacancy caused by 
Judge Suffern's death and held the office until the following Jamiary. 
Judge Cole was a native of Steuben county, in this State, received a 
thorough education and at an early age took a deep interest in public 
affairs and represented Steuben county in the Legislature. As a mem- 
ber of the Kansas Aid Committee, in 1856, he rendered efficient service 
in aiding Free State settlers into Kansas, and became prominent in pol- 
itics, though refusing nominations to office. He came to Kockland 
county in 1867, and in 1872 was elected District Attorney, which office 
he held until 1876. Judge Cole was an exponent of the best and most 
ennobling characteristics in social, professional and official life. He was 
dignified and commanding in person, entertaining in conversation, schol- 
arly and elegant in his public utterances; in his diction refined and 
chaste, ignoring the vulgarisms which too often debase the efforts of 
public speakers. He was essentially and always a tyiie of the true gen- 
tleman. His memory will ever be sacredly cherished by those who were 
honored with his friendship and confidence. 

Judge Cole was succeeded in the Judgeship by George W. Weiant, 
who had previously represented the county in the State Legislature for 
several successive years. 

Judge Weiant was bom in Stony Point in the year 1844. He began 
the practice of law in Haverstraw in the year 1870, where he continued 
to reside and practice imtil his death in 1895. He was one of the strong- 
est characters in many respects that ever entered upon a professional and 
public career in this county. He graduated from the State Xonnal 
School at Albany with honors. He was well and intimately known by 
almost the entire adiilt population of two towns at the very beginning 
of his professional career. He was a dcspiser of the distinctions which 
divide the social fabric, and manifested tlie utmost contempt for shams, 
whether in the individual or in society. The secret of his success was 
largely owing to his ability to read and undei-stand men, his sympathy 
with the struggling masses, and the fact which all men read and knew, be- 



BENCH AND BAR. 237 

caiisp it was tke continuous expression of his life, in action as well as in 
the utterance of speech that he was the friend of the common people. lu 
manner he was singularly genial and attractive. In the discharge of his 
professional duties he fought for his clients with a faith in hunself and 
in his cause which it was inspiring to witness. His preparation was 
always thorough, and the practitioners of his day learned at the begin- 
ning that industry and completeness in the preparation for conflict were 
essentials to the hope of success in the forum where he was the opponent. 
lie entered upon an excellent practice in the first year of his professional 
career, which he retained to the last. As Judge and Surrogate he was 
imiversally commended. While off the bench he was most affable and 
kind; when engaged in the discharge of the Judicial prerogative, he was 
wholly unapproachable, apparently forgetful of the friendly and social 
relations in which at other times he delighted; possessing the extraox'- 
dinary faculty of shutting out of thought and consideration everything 
extraneous to the matter in hand, remembering only that it was his to 
judge between friend and foe alike, or rather to forget for the time being 
who was friend and who was foe. This county has probably produced 
no man who could claim so great a host of wann and pronounced per- 
sonal friends as Judge Weiant. His death was usually lamented. His 
widow and two sons still reside at the homestead where he died. The 
elder son, Fred S., is now the Sheriff of the county, and his second sou, 
Charles, is engaged in business in the city of New York. 

Judge Weiant was followed upon the Bench by Arthur S. Tomp- 
kins. At the beginning of this article it is asserted that Rockland comity 
had just cause to boast of her brilliant lawyers and able judges. And 
it is undoubtedly true that the proportion of those who have become emi- 
nent is much greater in the smaller than in the larger counties. This is 
due to the fact that lawyers in the smaller counties come more closely 
and frequently in contact, the effort to achieve and maintain supremacy 
is made more necessary and strenuous by the limited number of com- 
peting aspirants, and the friction which shai-pens wit is brought more 
continually in play. In the smaller communities the personality, which 
includes ability, integrity and industry, or the absence of these, becomes 
more certainly aud definitely known and established, and often decides 
whether its possessor shall succeed or fail. And in the small community 
the people are not long in determining who ai-e the men to whom con- 



238 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

fidence may be given, and who are best qualified to forward and defend 
the interests wliich they represent. 

In every commonwealth there have arisen men whose experiences 
have been phenomenal, men to whom success has taken kindly at the 
very beginning. And this not by reason of the favor of fickle fortune 
which has pursued the man, but because the man from the outset has 
asserted his right and his determination to succeed and has then simply 
proceeded in the use of the appointed means to achieve the desired suc- 
cess. Such a man is Arthur S. Tomjikins. Although Judge Tompkins 
is one of the younger members of the County Bar, special reference is 
given to him here because it follows naturally the mention above made 
of him as County Judge. Judge Tompkins was born at Middleburgh, 
Schoharie county, New York, in the year 1865. In 1887 he was elected 
Police Justice of the village of Nyack. He manifested an aptness for 
political life and was elected to the Assembly as a Republican in a Dem- 
ocratic county in 1889. In 1893 he became the Republican candidate 
for County Judge and was elected. In 1898 he was elected Representa- 
tive in Congress from the Seventeenth Congressional District, and in 
December of that year resigned from the Judgeship. In 1900 he was 
again elected to Congress, and is at this writing sendng his second tenu. 

lie is favorably spoken of as a candidate for the Supreme Court 
Bench and his peculiar fitness for that honorable and responsible position 
is not questioned, but is cheerfully admitted by his brethren in the legal 
profession. We have said that the ]>eople very soon recognize real merit 
and true worth, but it is not often that the members of a profession will 
with one accord admit and proclaim the existence of these qualities in 
one of its own number. However, in this regard, the legal profession 
differs from other professions. The spirit of fairness and liberality pre- 
vails in this profession to a greater extent than in any other, and we are 
sure that the subject of this sketch realizes and appreciates the fact that 
the bar of Rockland county accords to him a position foremost among 
all its members, and is proud of the lustre of his brilliant record, and of 
the prominence which is his because he has earned it, not only in his 
sphere of action in his own county, but everywhere where his services 
have been required. 

Blessed with a good constitution and splendid physiqiie, he possesses 
the ability and strength which have enabled him to succeed in every 




ALdNZO VVUEEI,KK. 



BENCH AND BAR. 239 

undertaking. Besides the duties of his Congressional and professional 
life, his presence is demanded and his voice is heard frequently upon 
civic and social occasions. As a trial lawyer Judge Tompkins has no 
superior and few equals in the Judicial district within which his labors 
are j)rincipally confined. In the examination of witnesses he is shrewd, 
alert and incisive. In argument to the jury he is a marvel of freshness, 
simplicity and power. lie always knows his juror and talks to him. His 
arginnents are replete with illustrations which find their duplicate in the 
experiences of the individual juror. History, poetry and anecdote are 
brought into requisition by this master of the legal art, and all are 
blended in a production of argument, appeal, pathos, denunciation and 
eloquence which are sure to win a good case and save a poor one from 
utter destruction. And with all this rare and brilliant exix?rience, Judge 
Tompkins is still a young man, and with the continuance of health and 
strength is surely destined to accomplish vastly more than he has already 
achieved in the successes of the past and present. 

Upon the resignation from the Judgeship of Judge Tompkins, in 
1898, he was succeeded by Alonzo Wheeler, the writer of this article, 
who was appointed by Governor Black to the vacancy thus created, 
and who filled the office until January l.st, 1900. 

In 1899 Andrew X. Fallon, son of Andrew Fallon of Piennont, was 
elected to the Judgeship, of which he is the present incumbent. 

Jiidge Fallon was born at Piennont. His education was obtained in 
the local schools (public and private) and in the George Payne (^uack- 
enbush School of New York, where he remained until 1S73. He was 
admitted to the bar and fonned a partnership with his father in the 
practice of the law at Piemiont in 1879. For four yeai-s he was a mem- 
ber of the Board of Trustees of the village of Piermont and in 1887 was 
elected President of the village. From 1887 to 1900, with the excep- 
tion of the years 1892-3, he was a member of the Board of Super\nsors 
of Rockland county. He was elected to the office of County Jiulge in 
1899 and is now the incumbent of that office. He was married in 1893 
to Miss Francis K. Knapp and has two sons, Francis K., bora May 20, 
1885, and Alfred X., bom August 3, 1889, of the ages respectively of 
seventeen and fifteen years. Judge Fallon has always stood for what 
was best, purest and most honorable in private, professional and public 
life. His is one of the few lives against which the venomous tongue of 



240 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

scandal has never directed its shafts. luheritiug the sterling virtues 
of his honored father, he has always possessed the confidenc-e of men with- 
out seeking it, by an every day life which was in itself but the assertion 
of the principles which he believed in, and which have made him a 
man of incomparable strength not only in the esteem of his fellows, but 
in the arena of politics through the medium of which he was elevated to 
the County Judgeship. 

The very extensive practice in the management and settlement ol 
estates, in which his business for the most part consisted, qualified him 
most admirably for the onerous duties of the Surrogate's oiRcc, and in 
every department of his official and Judicial life he has perf(irnied every- 
duty with rare good judgment, wisdom and ability, continually proving 
himself fully entitled to and deserving of the confidence and good will 
of his constituents. 

The plan of this work does not contemplate the mention of all who 
have from time to time occupied the position of Associate Judge in the 
county, and so reference will be made to only a few of the more 
prominent. 

Among the most remarkable of these was George S. Allison, of Stony 
Point, whose association with the Court of Common Pleas began in the 
early part of the last century. He died at Stony Point when ujiwards 
of ninety yeai-s of age, and retained his mental vigor and gave per- 
sonal attention to his biisiness almost to the end. He served in the war of 
] 812. He was in those early days engaged in business in the city of New 
York. In his later days his conversation was often replete with interest- 
ing incidents of those exciting times. He came to Rockland county in 
LSI 5 and entered into the possession of large ancestral estates. He rep- 
resented the county in the Tx'gislature in 1829 and 1830. 

John I. Cole, of Haverstraw, was one of the Justices of Sessions for 
many years. He was for a generation one of the most prominent figures 
in the county. He was for many years a Justice of the Peace and was 
also Supervisor of his town. In his earlier days he learned the carpen- 
ter's trade and was an efficient and skilled mechanic. "While holding the 
office of Justice of the Peace he was engaged in the real estate and insur- 
ance business, from which he derived a fair income. He was the friend 
and helper of many and justly enjoyed the esteem and confidence of the 
people of his coimty. He administered the affairs of his court with dig- 



BENCH AND BAR. 241 

iiity and in the spirit of justice. As a friend he was true as steel and was 
never known to betray any trust. He was a safe adviser and many young 
men have profited by the counsel drawn from his wisdom and experience. 

Elias V. Hill was another of the Associate Justices deserving of espe- 
cial mention. At a ripe okl agie he still survives to reflect upon a well 
spent life, and for a little time to enjoy the consciousness that he has 
eai'ued and deserves only the esteem and confidence of the people. 

Frederick J. Wiles of Clarkstown, was also a Justice of Sessions for 
many years and was in his official capacity connected with many impor- 
tant criminal trials. Many others filled this important position for 
briefer periods, but the space allotted to this article forbids more particu- 
lar mention. 

The office of District Attorney has been sought and filled by many 
aspirants, some of whom were brilliant, and others of average ability. 

The Suffems, Frazer, Prall and Cole have already been mentioned. 
John T. Smith held the office from 1820 to 1833. Thomas Lawrence 
was elected in 1859 and served one term. Mr. Lawrence represented 
the county in the Assembly in 1868. He is still living and resides at 
South JSTyack, in this county. 

Marcena M. Dickinson held the office for three terms. Leander V. 
E. Eobinson, of Haverstraw, held the office in the year 1868. He died 
in the South, where he had gone for the benefit of his health. The office 
M'as held successively thereafter by William C. Prall, Hii-am B. Fenton, 
Marcena M. Dickinson and Alonzo Wheeler, who was elected in 1878, 
1881 and again in 1896. 

Mr. Wheeler was succeeded in 1884 by Abram A. Demarest, who 
was succeeded by Garrett Z. Snider, William ]\lcCauley, Jr., and Fi'ank 
Comesky. As above stated, Mr. Wheeler again became District Attor- 
ney by the election in 1896, which he resigTied in 1898 to assimie the 
duties of County Judge, to which office he was appointed by Governor 
Llaek to fill the viicancy caused by the resignation of Judge Tompkins. 
He was succeeded by George A. Wyre, of Nyack, who was appointed 
to fill the vacancy created by Mr. Wheeler's resignation. 

Mr. Wyre was succeeded by Thomas II. Lee, the present incumbent. 
Thus far we have made mention only of those lawyers who have held 
official position in the county. 



242 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

The list of resident lawycre who have not sought or attained the dis- 
tinction of office is a long one and includes many who whether dead or 
living at this writing, have established reputations for legal skill and abil- 
ity which survive and will continiie to live. Among these was Thomas 
E. Blanch, of Piermont, long since deceased. He is said to have for a 
long time been the only practicing lawyer in the entire town of Orange- 
town. He is remembered by those who knew him to have been a man of 
scholarly attainments and great legal ability. His practice was large and 
luci'ative and included many intricate and important cases. 

John C. T. Schmidt was one of the old time lawyers who is still 
remembered by many in our county. His principal and most successful 
practice was in the city of 'New York, although he wias a native and for 
most of the time a resident of Nyack, in this county. In the later years 
of his life he practiced to some extent in this county. Mr. Sclmiidt was 
almost as well known for his courtly, and yet kind, cordial and genial 
manner toward all with whom he came in contact, as for his acknowl- 
edged talents as a la\vyer. When addressing a com-t or jury he always 
commanded attention. He was a master of English and while his elo- 
quence charmed his logic convinced. He was concededly among the 
foremost in the practice of his profession in the days of his more active 
life. The Hon. Hugh Maxwell, Hon. Abraham B. Conger and Hon. 
John W. Ferdon were all men of eminence in their day and were for 
many years residents of Rockland county and the owners of large estates 
there. Neither of them was ever active in the practice of law in the 
coimty. The Hon. Hugh ifaxwell was among the leadei-s of the Bar in 
the city of New York and participated in the management and trial of 
many noted cases. He at various times filled the positions of District 
Attorney of the county of New York, Collector of the Port and Minister 
to Russia. The Hon. Abraham B. Conger passed the greater part of his 
time in the management of his estates, although he at times gave con- 
siderable attention to politics. He represented his district in the State 
Senate in 1852 and 1853, and was a member of the Constitutional Con- 
vention of 1867. He was dignified in person and manner, of great and 
varied learning and attainments, a profound thinker, of highest culture 
and refinement. 

The Hon. John "W. Ferdon, of Piermont, was a gentleman whose 
confidence and friendship it was an honor to any to possess. He never 



BENCH AND BAR. 243 

sought proiiiinence in the practice of the law, but confined himself 
mainly to the management of his large estates and to literature. He 
represented the several districts in which he lived, in the Assembly in 
1855, in the State Senate in 1856-7, and in Congress in 1879 to 1881. 
Mr. Ferdon was an active and consistent member of the Piennont 
Eeformed Church and a liberal contributor to its support. He was for 
many years President of the Rockland County Bible Society. He was 
gentle, tender-hearted and benevolent. He was the friend of the young, 
and it was the habit of his life to diffuse sunshine and cheer in all places 
and under all circumstances. In a word, he was a good man. He has 
gone to his reward. 

John W. Blauvelt, of Picrmont, while admitted to the Bar, never 
engaged extensively in the practic-e of his profession in the county. Mr. 
Blauvelt is now deceased. 

It will be seen by the reading of this history that Piermont has fur- 
nished a goodly niimber of the county's most worthy citizens. There 
are two others to whom it is my intention to make more specific refer- 
ence. One of these is Mr. Andrew Pallon, the father of ]irescnt County 
Judge Andrew X. Fallon. The writer feels at liberty to deal more in 
detail with the career of Mr. Fallon, for the reason that he has kni>wn 
him long and intimately, and may thus speak from pereonal knowledge. 

Andrew Fallon was bom in 1824. He was admitted to the Bar upon 
attaining his majority, in 1845. He practiced in New York until 1849 
and in that year went to California. He returned to this county in 
1850, where he continuously practiced until his final retirement from 
the activities of the profession. When the writer of this sketch began 
practicing in Rockland county one of the two rapn most eminent and 
busy in the courts was Andrew Fallon, and for many years the great biilk 
of the practice in the coiinty wa.s shared by Mr. Fallon and Cornelius P. 
Hoffman, and of this business Mr. Fallon had his full share. As the 
writer grew into the profession and came more and more in contact with 
these veterans at the Bar his acquaintance with Mr. Fallon engendered a 
feeling of the highest regard and most sincere admiration. He was dis- 
tingnishable in his methods from many lawyers in that he spumed and 
never engaged in the tricky and dishonest technicalities which in the 
practice of so many have tended to bring the legal profession into disre- 



244 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

pute. lie is the representative of the very best element in his profession, 
lie was always considerate towai-ds the younger members of the Bar, and 
tried to encourage, rather than intimidate and discourage those young 
men who, like the writer, were trying to work up a living practice.. The 
cases in which he was engaged were always foiight out \ipon their merits 
so far as he was concerned; he disdained to stoop to any merely techni- 
cal or dishonorable advantage. 

Although frequently urged, Mr. Fallon persistently refused to accept 
political position. lie always retained a large and important clientage. 
He has filled out a very busy and eminently successful life. His attitude 
towards his brethren at the Bar was generous and always strictly hon- 
orable. An oral promise was always considered by him as binding as a 
written stipulation. It was his unvarying rule never to speak disparag- 
ingly of another lawyer. It seems a pity that such men as Mr. Fallon 
sliould be laid aside. But the infirmities of age arc upon him and his 
active duties are done. 

Cornelius P. Hoffman was a co-temporary of Mr. Fallon. He was a 
native of Piermont and was a lawyer of acknowledged ability. Mr. Hoff- 
man began and for many years continued the practice of the law in Hav- 
erstraw, where he was for several years associated ^\^th John H. Hopper, 
now deceased, in the prosecution of a large and widely extended business. 
He was for a time President of the Village of Haverstraw, then known 
as the Village of Warren. Upon the dissolution of tlie finn of Hoffman 
& Hopper, Mr. Hoffman established a business in the city of ISTew York. 
His later years were spent at Xyack. In person he was tall, well pro- 
portioned and decidedly handsome. His knowledge of the law was var- 
ied and extensive. In matters of practice he was an adept. As a cross- 
examiner he was most proficient. In the handling of a witness he was 
suave, smiling and effective. In cross-examination he was bland, patron- 
izing and confidential in his approaches, and was thus almost sure to break 
do^vn the safe-giiard of caution on the part of an opposing witness. In 
summing up to tlie jury he was effective and often eloquent. For a per- 
iod of many years Mr. Hoffman figiired in nearly every important crim- 
inal case tried in this county, and always on the side of the defence. Mr. 
Hoffman is sun'ived by a daughter, Mrs. Stanley Blauvelt, and two 
sons, Mark and John, Mark being now Police Justice of the Village of 
?^yack. 



BENCH AND BAR. 245 

Abraham A. ncinarest is at present one of the leading attorneys of 
the county, liaving an otKce in the village of Nyack, while his residence 
is on the main road leading to New City, in the town of Clarkstown. Mr. 
Demarest was born October 27th, 1831, at Nannet, in this county. In 
tlie fall of 1848 he entered the State Normal College at Albany, from 
which he graduated in the spring of 1850. He followed various pur- 
suits thereafter until the fall of 1856, when he was elected County Clerk, 
which office he filled wdth the greatest efficiency down to Jamiary 1, 
1869. He sen-ed an additional year as Deputy Clerk under his succes- 
sor, Cyrus M. Crum. AVhile Coiinty Clerk he pursued the study of law 
and was admitted to practice in 1870. In 1884 he was elected District 
Attorney of the county and served as such for one term of three years. 
As District Attorney he was uniisually industrious and efficient. His offi- 
cial record was excellent, and at the end of his term presented the unu- 
sual condition of a finished calendar, not a single indictment found dur- 
ing his term being left for disposal by his siiec-essor. As a general prac- 
titioner Mr. Demarest occupies a place in the fi'ont rank of the profession 
in the county. 

Frank P. Demarest, of Clarkstown, has been in the active practice 
of the law, principally in this county, since the spring of 1887. For sev- 
eral years prior to his admission he was a student in the office of his uncle, 
Abram A. Demarest, at Nyack. He was bom at West Nyack September 
12th, 1852. In 1887 he was elected a Justice of the Peace of the town 
of Clarkstown, and in 1882 he was elected Supervisor of said town, which 
position he held at various times for the period of twelve years. In 1881 
he was appointed Clerk of the Surrogate's Court of Rockland county 
and occupied said office for eleven years and nine months thereafter. In 
early life Mr. Demarest developed an aptness for politics and has for 
many years been an acknowledged leader in his party. Mr. Demarest 
possesses many highly commendable natural characteristics, among which 
are courtesy, generosity, kind-heartedness and the gentlemanly instinct, 
which have throughout his entire public life secured for him a host 
of warm and steadfast friends, and given him the power he wields in 
politics. In the years 1888, 1889, 1891 and 1900 he represented his 
district in the Assembly with entire satisfaction to his constituents. He 
is at this -^^Tnting engaged in the practice of the law in New York and in 
this county. 



246 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

George A. Blauvelt is a resident of Monsey, in this county, and is 
engaged in a successful practice both iu New York and in this county, 
lie is the junior member of the firm of Gratf & Blauvelt, of 229 Broad- 
way, New York city. Mr. Blauvelt is thirty-seven years of age. He was 
favored with the best educational advantages in his youth, which he evi- 
dently appreciated and fully improved. He received his preparation for 
college at the Chappaqua Mountain Institute, Chappaqua, Westchester 
county, K. Y. He entered Cornell University, from which he graduated 
in Jvme, 1890, with the degi-ee of Bachelor of Laws. He took a post 
gTaduate course at Columbia Univereity, where in 1891 the degi-ee of 
M. A. was confen-ed upon him. He attended the Columbia Law School 
and was finally admitted to practice from the oflice of Bobcrt W. Todd, 
of 229 Broadway, New York, in December, 1892. In July, 1893, Mr. 
Blauvelt entered the law firm of (Jraff & Blauvelt as junior member. In 
the years 1893, 1894 and 1895 he was School Commissioner of Ilocklaud 
county and filled the office acceptably. Mr. Blauvelt is at present a direc- 
tor in and attorney for the First National Bank of Spring Valley, N. Y. 
As a man and lawyer Mr. Blauvelt merits and enjoys the esteem and con- 
fidence of the community. 

William H. Bamiister, of Nyack, is a son of Professor William H. 
Bannister, fonnerly an accomplished and successful educator of Nyack, 
now deceased. He waa admitted to practice in May, 1900. He soon 
thereafter formed a co-partnership with Arthur S. Tompkins, Tuider the 
firm name of Tompkins & Bannister. Being afterwards elected a Jus- 
tice of the Peace for Orangetown, ho withdrew from such co-partnership 
and devoted himself principally to the duties of his office. He subse- 
quently entered into a partnership with Clarence Lexow and George A. 
Wyre, under the firm name of Lexow, Wyre & Bamiister. He soon 
withdi-ew from the partnership thus formed and has ever since been 
engaged in the practice on his own account in connection with his duties 
as Justice of the Peace, which ofiice he has held for four consecutive 
terms. 

The personal and professional career of William TenBroeck Storms, 
fonnerly of Nyack, now deceased, demand more than a passing notice. 
This biogTaphy is written largely from the ^vl•iter's personal knowledge 
of Mr. Storms and partly from a sketch made by Mr. Stonus himself at 
the request of the compilers of this work. The professional life of Mr. 



BENCH AND BAR. 247 

Storms was modest, unassuming, devoted to his clientage, and faithful 
and careful to the last degree in eveiy detail of the work assigned him 
in the many interests committed to him. 

Mr. Storms was a son of Abram J. Storms, who is still living, and 
who once conducted a flourishing business at Nyack in the manufactui-e 
of cedar ware, for which he had a large Southern trade, which was bro- 
ken up by the War of the Rebellion. His mother's name was Sarah 
Smith TenBrocck, a name even now well known in some parts of New 
Jei-sey. The subject of this sketch received a common school educa- 
tion at the Nyack public school, which was followed by an academic 
course, also at Nyack. Mr. Storms studied law first in the office of 
Tiiomas Lawi-ence, at 117 Nassau street, in the city of New York, and 
aftenvards with Edward AVells, at Peekskill, N. Y., from whose office 
he was admitted to practice in May, 1866. He commenced practice as 
managing clerk for Dexter A. Hawkins, of New York, and afterwards 
took an office of his own at 150 Broadway, New York, where he remained 
two years, then going to Nyack, where he continued in business until 
the time of his death, which occurred in 1901. Mr. Stonns was 
from time to time connected with various local enterprises, prominent 
among which was the Nyack Building Co-Operative Savings and Loan 
Association, of which he was at the time of his death the attorney. He 
also held the office of Referee in Bankruptcy. Mr. Storms acquired a 
large Equity and SuiTogate's practice, which he retained imtil his death. 
It is said that he was the friend and counsellor of many who were too 
poor to pay, and of whom he neither demanded nor expected compensa- 
tion. His memory \vill be cherished by those who knew him most inti- 
mately during the thirty-five years of his professional life. 

Justin DuPratt White is one of the younger members of the pro- 
fession, whose scholarly attainments and creditable record at the Bar 
constitute him already one of the foremost in the practice. Mr. White 
is one of the class of men whom one feels honored in knowing. The 
writer in this department has no desire to be diffusive or fulsome, but he 
has a most sincere desire to be just; and is entirely so in the statement 
that J. DuPratt White is one of the men and lawyers whom it is a delight 
to know and be associated with. As a lawyer he is brilliant and formid- 
able before court or jury. Mr. White was born at Middletown, Orange 
county. New York, on the 25th of July 1869. His father is Charles Nel- 



248 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

son Wliite, who is still living in I^yack. His mother, Elizabeth Crosby, 
was a native of Akron, Ohio, and died abont fifteen yeare ago. The sub- 
ject of tliis sketch has lived in Ro<'kland connty abont twenty-fonr ycai-s, 
the most of the time in Nyaek. He was educated at various private 
schools in this State and in New Jersey; in the Nyack Union Free 
School, from which he graduated in 1885; in the Ithaca High School, at 
Ithaca, N. Y., and in Cornell University. He graduated from Cornell 
University June 19th, 1890, after the usual four years' coiirsc, with the 
degree of Bachelor of Letters. He was admitted to the bar in February, 
1892, and has ever since practiced law in New York and Rockland coun- 
ties. In 1896 ]\rr. AVliite fonned a partnership with Henry J. Coggos- 
iiall (for many years State Senator from Oneida county. New York), 
under the firm name of Coggeshall & White. In 1901, said partner- 
sliip having been dissolved, he formed a partnership ^\^th George B. Case, 
under the firm name of White & (_'ase, which partncrehip is still in exist- 
ence. In 1900 he was appointed by Governor Roosevelt a Commissioner 
of the Palisades Intei-state Park for New York, and by Governor Voor- 
liees a Commissioner of the Palisades Interstate Park for New Jei-scy, 
and subsequently was elected by the Commissioners secretary of each of 
the said commissions, which position he still holds. Mr. White is a 
Republican and has manifested considerable interest in politics in Rock- 
land county, having been repeatedly elected a delegate to Judiciary and 
Congressional conventions. On September 7th, 1898, Mr. White mar- 
ried Miss Anita Bradley Lombard, daughter of Thomas Russell Lombard, 
of Fort Hamilton, New York. 

Philip VanAlstine, of Spring Valley, has been a resident of Rockland 
county since May, 1877. He has practiced largely and principally in the 
New York city courts, although he has at the same time represented 
an important clientage and many large interests elsewhere. Mr. Van 
Alstine was bom in the town of Stuyvesant, Columbia county, N. Y., in 
1845, and is a lineal descendant of Jan Martense VanAlstine, one of the 
first settlers of Columbia county, who located there in 1656. He began 
the study of law mth Hon. Charles L. Beale and Wan-en C. Benton, at 
Hudson, Columbia connty, in 1860, and was admitted to practice as an 
attorney and counsellor at law in New York county in 1868. He has 
been principally engaged in the management and trial of civil actions. 




GEURGE W. WEIANT. 



BENCH AND BAR. 249 

He has freqiipiitlv been retained as attorney or counsel in the State and 
United States courts in the trial or argument of causes involving intri- 
cate question? of law and important interests. Mr. VanAlstine has never 
engaged actively in politics. He has, however, held many positions of 
local responsibility and importance, and has represented his districts in 
National, State and County Conventions. 

Irving Brown, of Haverstraw, is known as one of the ablest lawyers 
of this county. He engaged in the study of law in the office of the late 
Judge Andrew E. Suffern, at Haverstraw, and was admitted to prac- 
tice in the year 1875. Immediately upon his admission ho entered 
into a co-partnership with Alonzo Wheeler, the \vriter of this sketch, 
under the finn name of AVhex:>ler & Brown. This partnei-ship was dis- 
solved in 1SS3, both of its members continuing separately in business 
in Haverstraw until the present time. In the intervening years Mr. 
Brown has conducted an immense business with marked ability and suc- 
cesa He possesses the unusual facility of concentration in thought and 
speech, and his addresses to court and jury have been models of forensic 
effort, often abounding with the most cutting sarcasm and always with- 
out redundancy of words. Comprehensive grasp of the subject, and 
clear, happy and pointed expression, together with the uniform success 
of his efforts have earned for Mr. Brown the high standing conceded to 
him by the profession. He has twice represented his district in the State 
Assembly. His opinions upon difficult questions of law have often been 
sought and accepted as authority, even by his seniors in the practice. 

Among tlie lawyers formerly well kno\\Ti in the county, who are now 
deceased, in addition to those already mentioned, are William B. Slocum, 
George L. Mann, John H. Hopper, Charles W. Root, Garrett Z. Snider, 
Hiram B. Fenton, Merritt E. Sawyer, and Andrew J. Mathewson. 

The standing of these men as members of the commimity and in the 
relations they respectively bore to the Bar of Rockland county is remem- 
bered by very many of the residents of the coimty. 

John F. McFarlane is the industrioiis and indefatigable junior mem- 
ber of the firm of Tompkins & McFarlane. In 1892 he graduated from 
the excellent Nyack public school and for two years thereafter studied 
law in the offices of W. H. Bannister and Frank Comesky, at Nyack. 
In 1804 he entered the New York Law School, from which he graduated 
in 1897 and was immediately thereafter admitted to the Bar. In the 



2S0 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

same year lie opened an office at Nyack and at once entered npon an 
enconraging practice. He became a member of the firm of Tompkins & 
Mc¥arlane on the first of Januai-j-, 1898. He has been recently elected 
a Jnstice of the Peace of the Town of Orangetown. He is twenty-six 
years of age. Mr. ilcFarlane is most competent and thorough in the 
detail work in every department of the business. He is a good trial law- 
yer and manifests a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of the prin- 
ciples of law and of the rules of practice. As an individual he is affable 
and courteous; as a lawyer he is hard working, persistent and aggressive. 
He is an honorable practitioner and reflects credit upon his chosen pro- 
fession. While Judge Tompkins, his partner, is a leader among Repub- 
licans, Mr. McFarlane is an enthusiastic and popular Democrat. 

Frank Crurabie is a resident of Nyack whose practice is conducted 
principally in the city of New York, where he has an office at 35 Nassau 
street. Mr. Crumble was bom in the city of New York, March 2!)th, 
1862, and was educated in the schools of that city. In 1882 he entered 
the Columbia College Law School, from which he graduated in 1884. 
He was admitted to the Bar in 1885. He was married on October 25th, 
1897, to Annie S. Towt, granddaughter of John W. Towt, late of Nyack, 
deceased. Mr. Crumble is a son of James Crumble, who, having amassed 
a fortune in the drug business in New York, retired from business in 
1860, and devoted his time to the management of his large real estate 
holdings in the city. He established his summer residence at Nyack in 
1858. He died December 12th, 1879, leaving sun-iving six children, of 
whom the subject of this sketch is one. While applying himself indus- 
triously to the duties of an active professional life,Mr. Crumble finds 
ftpportunity to engage in important local enterprises, and has devoted 
much time and energy and given the influence of his high professional 
and social standing in the interest of the Young Men's Christian Asso- 
ciation of Nyack. 

Gerrit Smith became a resident of Nyack in 1893, where he has ever 
since resided, while engaged in the practice of the law in the city of New 
York. Mr. Smith was born at Madison, New Haven county, Conn., on 
the 8th of January, 1854. He attended the public schools for a time 
and afterwards entered Lee's Academy at Madison, from which he grad- 
uated in 1872. He then for one year engaged -with the United States 
Coast Survey in surveying New Haven Harbor and Long Island Sound. 



BENCH AND BAR. 251 

In 1873 lie entered Yale College, from which he graduated in 187Y, 
after which he taught for one year in the Boys' Preparatory School of 
New Haven. He then entered the law department of Yale University, 
from which he graduated in 1880. He was admitted to the Bar in Con- 
necticut and afterwards in New York, where ho began practice at 52 
Broadway. In 1883 Mr. Smith was man-ied to Lela A. Wood, daughter 
of Charles Wood, of Berlin, Conn. Since estoblishing his residence at 
Nyack, Mr. Smith has been identified with numerous religious organiza- 
tions of that place. He has for a number of yeai-s held the office of super- 
intendent of the Central Nyack Congregational Sunday school. He is a 
director of the Nyack Y. M. C. A., ti-ustee of the Nyack library and of 
the JS'yack Building and Loan Association. 

Among the lawyers who formerly practiced in Rockland county, but 
have gone to other fields of labor are Robert II. Patton, H. D. Batchel- 
der and Charles C. Suflfern. Mr. Patton is a brother of Dr. Francis Ij. 
Patton, President of Princeton College, and Charles C. Suffem is the 
son of the late Judge Andrew E. Suffem, deceased. 

Benjamin Levison is a promising and rising yoimg lawyer, who stud- 
ied law with Abrani A. Demarest at Nyack, from whose office he wa.s 
admitted to practice. 

William E. Gowdey formerly lived and practiced in this county. He 
still resides here, but practices principally in Xow York. 

Fred W. Penny resides at Stony Point having an office at Haver- 
straw. Mr. Penny is a son of AVilliam J. Penny, formerly Sheriff of 
Rockland, and a son-in-law of John II. Neilly, late of Stony Point, de- 
ceased. He was admitted to practice in 1886. He lias been twice 
elected Supervisor of his town. He is engaged principally in the civil 
practice. 

Charles M. Stafford and E. T. Lovatt are attorneys residing at or 
near Spring Valley, and doing business principally in New York and 
Brooklyn. Both have practiced to some extent in important cases in 
Rockland coimty. These gentlemen with many others hereinafter nam- 
ed, have failed to impart to the writer such infomiation as would enable 
him to state more specifically the matters of principal interest in their 
large and varied experiences, although he has requested them to fur- 
nish such information. 



252 HISTORY OP ROCKI^AND COUNTY. 

Mr. Garrett H. Crawford and Mr. Truman H. Bakhvin both promi- 
nent and influential residents of South Xyack, have failed to respond to 
the request for information concerning- their professional careers, and 
the writer is therefore unable to mete out to them that full justice 
Hhich they should receive at his hands. Enough has been communi- 
cated, however, to enable us to say vnth assurance, that the Kockland 
County Bar is honored in its association with these two gentlemen, and 
the Village of South Xyack is fortunate in its ability to claim them 
as among its representative citizens. 

Among the younger members of the Bar is Mr. J. Elmer Christie of 
ISTyack, who though duly admitted has not confined himself exclusively 
to the practice. We bespeak for him a successful and honorable future. 

Mr. Thomas Gagan of Haverstraw, is, we brieve, the latest acces- 
sion to the Bar of the county. Mr. Gagan was bom in the to^vn of 
Haverstraw on September 16th, 1879. In his early boyhood he attend- 
ed the Haverstraw Public School, working on the brickyards in the 
summer. He graduated from the Grammar Department of the school 
at the age of seventeen. At eighteen he entered Manhattan College 
and continued there two years working on the brickyards during the 
summer vacations. In 1889 Mr. Gagan entered upon a three years 
course in Cohunbia Law School from which he graduated June lltli, 
1902. During his course, in vacation time, he studied in the office of 
the Hon. Ii-viug Bro^vn at Haverstraw. Having been duly admitted, 
he began practice on his o\vn account at Haverstraw July 21st, 1902. 
He occupies pleasant ofiices in the National Bank building. A man of 
Mr. Gagan's detennination and attainments is sure to succeed. 

Cyrillus Myers is a resident and practitioner of Haverstraw, and is 
as generally kno\\m and as popular as any public or professional man in 
the town. Mr. IMvers began the practice of the law in Haverstraw many 
years ago, having for a long time been a student in the office of Corne- 
lius P. Hoffman. He early entered the arena of politics, and was elected 
a Justice of the Peace of his town which office he held for many years. 
He then moved to Patorson, New Jersey, where he resided for a period 
of several years, at the expiration of which he returned to Haverstraw, 
where he again engaged in the practice of law. Still manifesting a 
fondness for politics he again sought the office of Justice of the Peac« 
to which he has been since twice elected. While Mr. Myers has estab- 



BENCH AND BAR. 253 

lished a fiue legal practice, his special qualifications for the Judicial of- 
fice have gained for him a most enviable reputation as an able, impartial 
and wise Judge. He possesses the unusual faculty of ignoring every 
consideration in the discharge of the Judicial duty except those consid- 
erations which are based upon and grow out of the merits as determined 
by the facts in evidence. In the discharge of his pi'ofessional duties he 
has had committed to him many valuable interests, consisting largely of 
estates involving considerable practice in the Surrogate's Court. Mr. 
Myers, his ^vife and children, Arthur, Cyrillus and Blanche are mem- 
bers of the Central Presbyterian Church of Haverstraw, and are all 
active and devoted workers in every department of Church and Sun- 
day school work. 

George A. Wyre, of Nyack, is one of our best. kno\vn lawyers. As 
a trial lawyer he is recognized as the peer of any member of the county 
Bar. In 1898 he was appointed District Attorney of the county to fill 
the vacancy created by the resignation of Alonzo Wheeler, who had suc- 
ceeded to the County Judgeship. Mr. Wyre is Republican in politics, 
but is extremely popular with, those of all shades of political opinion, 
lie has represented his party in various political conventions. While 
a resident of Clarkstown, his principal office is at Nyack, where he con- 
ducts a flourishing business. 

George E. Bristor, formerly of Spring Valley, biit now of Rahway, 
N. J., has an office at 200 Broadway, in the city of Xew York, but prac- 
tices also in this county. IVIr. Bristor was formerly in the ministry, and 
for several yeare prcaclied at Spring Valley. As a preacher he was a 
man of rare power and eloquence. As a public speaker and advocate he 
is a most accomplished orator. The writer has in liis many years' exper- 
ience hoard few men of any calling who possess in such a degix^c as he 
the thrilling, mo\'ing power of eloquence, combined vnth the convinc- 
ing power of reason and logic. 

The following are some of the lawyers who live in Rockland county, 
but whose business is caiTied on wholly or neariy so in the city of Ifew 
York, of whom the writer has obtained no special information, viz.: 
Claude Gignoux, Benjamin F. LaRue, George W. Miatt, A. B. Norton, 
Lewis I. Snyder and James Taylor, all of the town of Ramapo, Ivan 
Sickels, of the town of Orangetown, and A. T. Payne, of Stony Point. 



254 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

This article will close with a reference to some of the best known 
members of the Bar of Rockland county, which in every case will be 
brief, for the reason that special biographical sketches of all are given 
elsewhere in this history. Biographical sketches, however, do not always 
do justice to the personality or the achievements of the subject, and the 
writer deems it a privilege to add to the cold statement of facts con- 
cerning these gentlemen such criticism as may be just and proper. 

Of this number the Hon. Clarence Lexow is one. His achievements 
at the Bar and in the arena of politics are now matters of historj^, and 
nothing that can be added by the writer of this article can add to the 
lustre of his fame. As the representative of his district in the State Sen- 
ate and as the cliairman of the famous Lexow Committee, he displayed 
those qualities of statesmanship in the exercise of which he was able to 
and did accomplish miich that had before been deemed impossible for 
the purification of politics. His advocacy and tremendous and success- 
ful efFoi'ts for the adoption of the Greater New York charter, and the 
many other and important measures which became laws by reason of his 
skillful and determined advocacy are mattera of imperishable record. 
His large law practice and the multitudinous interests and trusts com- 
mitted to him in his professional capacity, have induced him for the 
time to ■withdraw from the more strenuoTis ]>olitical life. 

"William McCauley, of Haverstraw, whose record also appears in a 
more extended sketch, has a clientage which extends throughout the 
entire county, and he has frequently been retained in the trial of causes 
in other coimtios. His record as District Attorney is a flattering one, 
and his entii-e professional career has been one continuous success. There 
is no busier or more industrious lawyer in the coimty, and there is no law- 
yer wlio more richly merits the esteem in which he is imiversally held. 
As a trial la^vyer he has no siiperior in the county, and he is known to 
be exceptionally thorough, painstaking and conscientious in the per- 
formance of every duty. 

Frank Comcsky, of ISTyack, is another member of the Bar who as 
a man and la%\'5'er stands upon the same liigli plane where so many of his 
brethren already refeiTed to are found. In the office of Disti'ict Attor- 
ney of the county he won distinction, and his entire practice is indica- 
tive of the keen, methodical, devoted and generous la\vyer. The Bar of 



BENCH AND BAR. 255 

Eocklaml county accords to Mr. Comesky a liigli aiul lioiiorablc place 
in its ranks. 

Daniel D. Sherman is prominent in the New Yoi'k city practice and 
resides on Clinton avenue, in South ISTyack. He has practiced to some 
extent in this county, and is highly esteemed by the resident lawyers 
who have the honor of his acquaintance, and by the citizens of South 
Nyack, who are privileged to claim him as a resident of that municipality. 

Peter Q. Eckerson, of Spring Valley, conducts an extensive business 
in the city of New York, and has been engaged in a number of important 
matters, some of them involving difBcnlt questions of law in the courts 
of this covmty. Mr. Eckerson is an affable and courteous gentleman, 
esteemed wherever kno'vvn and recognized as a lawyer of siiperior ability. 

Thomas H. Lee is the present District Attorney of Kockland county. 
He is thoroughly educated, refined, dignified and courteoiis. His 
biogTaphy, which appears in another part of this work, discloses a highly 
honorable ancestry and present family connections. Mr. Lee has man- 
ifested great zeal and energy in matters of local importance and interest, 
especially in educational matters in the town of Stony Point, where he 
resides. He is well groimded in the principles of law, a man of large 
general information, an accomplished conversationalist, a good lawyer, 
with a constantly increasing practice. He has discharged the duties of 
the District Attorney's office acceptably, and wall probably receive the 
nomination of his party for an additional term. 

John W. Funnan, of Havei-straw, the history of whose life n]>])ears 
elsewhere, is universally esteemed for his literary and educational attain- 
ments, his thorough mastery and imderstanding of the principles of law, 
the ability and integrity with which he engages in the discharge of every 
duty laid upon him, and the devotion to the interests of his clients which 
has secured to him the large and important biisiness in which he is 
engaged. 

Irving Hopper, also the subject of a personal sketch to be found else- 
where in this history, is the attorney for the ISTyack Building and Loan 
Association, and has established a large and successful business besides, 
by sheer force of character, merit and ability. Mr. Hopper is especially 
proficient in the class of cases known as equity cases, is recognized as an 
authority on real estate law, and as a careful and thoroughly competent 
and reliable searcher of titles his services are invaluable and are often 



256 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

sought by the Bar at large. lie has also a large practice in suri'ogates' 
courts and is proficient in all matters relating to estates, both as to the 
law and practice. Mr. Hopper is among the younger members of the 
Bar, but has with rapid strides advanced to the front rank. 

Jonathan W. Sherwood is so well known throughout the county that 
any comments of the writer may be justly considered as unnecessary. 
As School Commissioner, which office he now fills, he has made an ailniir- 
able record. As a lawyer he has secured an advanced position, and in 
the trial of causes has manifested a marked ability. The biographical 
sketch of Mr. Sherwood in another part of this work will be read with 
interest. 

Frank S. Harris is the efficient and popular Supervisor of the town 
of Eamapo, which office he has held for several years. Mr. Harris is 
also counsel for the Village of Suffern. He has established a large and 
varied practice. He is universally esteemed by the members of the Bar 
and by the people of the community where he resides and is best known. 

Fred S. Weiant is the popular Sheriff of Rockland county and is the 
youngest man who ever occupied that position. Mr. AVeiant is a thor- 
oughly educated lawyer. In his student days he was known as one of 
the brightest and most proficient pupils in the various institutions in 
which he pursued his studies. He was admitted to the Bar, but never 
engaged regularly in the practice. His partiality for political life led 
him to contend for honors in that field, and his first efforts were crowned 
with success. The term of his piesent office vsdll expire January 1, 1904. 

Haiwey DeBaun, a native and resident of Clarkstown, in this 
county, entered upon a good practice at the beginning of his professional 
career, which he has maintained and largely increased. Mr. DeBaun 
represents large business and ]>roperty interests and has successfully 
Dinnaged many important law suits. He is industrious, persistent and 
indefatigable in his devotion to the interests of his clients. In the trial 
of a law suit he is able, always manifesting a broad and comprehensive 
understanding of the issues involved, and indicating a thoroughness of 
preparation, which render him a dangerous antagonist, and commend 
him as one to whom the most important interests may be committed with 
the utmost confidence. 

The ^\1•ite^ of this article has striven to present an accurate history 
of the Bench and Bar of Eockland county. If he has been guilty of 



BENCH AND BAR. 257 



omissions or inaccviracics, it is owing to his inability to obtain knowledge, 
for which he has diligently sought. The comments, eulogistic or other- 
wise, upon the lives of any are based upon pei-sonal knowledge of the 
WTiter drawn from contact and association with the persons criticised. 



niSTOEY OF JOUKNALISM IN ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

By Eobert H. Fenton. 

The most primitive methods of publishing news was among the In- 
dians, the knowledge of important events being heralded by the swiftest 
runnei-s of the tribes, such as were chosen by competitive trials of speed 
and endurance. 

Then came the hoi'se as a means of conveyance; the stage coach, and 
the slow Dutch sloop; yet news was still borne by verbal message, or let- 
ters sent along the post roads. 

After awhile the printed page found its way into the county from 
Boston, New York or Philadelphia, and the news was real aloud in 
front of taverns, or in other public places, or among groups of neighbors 
gathered together to hear what was going on in the world at large; and 
then, as newspapers increased, Rockland was embraced in the tenitory 
covered by small local papers of adjoining counties. 

The first newspaper published in Rockland county was the Palladian, 
and Ezekiel BiuToughs was the pioneer journalist. This was in Ilaver- 
straw, in about the year 1812. The paper was only published a short 
time when it was discontinued, and then it was not until 1828 that 
another venture was made in the newspaper business. The Rockland 
Register was started in tliat year by Mr. Burroughs, and in 1830 it was 
changed to the Rockland Gazette. 

In May, 1833, another paper was started in ITaverstraw by John 
Douglass, and the next year this paper — the Rockland Advertiser — was 



258 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

united with the Gazette, under the name of the Rockland Advertiser 
and Family Gazette. 

In 1843 it was published as the Rockland News and General Adver- 
tiser, by John L. Burtis. 

Two other papers were started in that village, but were discontinued 
in a short time, as they were opposition papers and could not draw 
enough pati'onage from the one already established. One was the North 
River Times, started in 1834, by Alexander H. AVells, and the other 
was the Mirror, published a short time in 1838. The forms of these 
jjapers were small and they were all printed on the early hand-presses 
then up-to-date. 

The next paper established, and which soon found itself alone, hav- 
ing triumphed over all competitors, was the Rockland County Messen- 
ger. This paper was started by Robert Marshall in May, 1840, and was 
much larger in form than the others had been, and was soon known as 
a "blanket sheet," after having been enlarged to unhandy dimensions 
to accommodate its increase of advertisements. 

In 1852 the Messenger was purchased by Robert Smith, who ran 
it successfully against all opposition for over forty years. During that 
period several other papers were started, but soon ceased for want 
of patronage; except during the last few years of the century, when an 
opposition journal found patronage sufficient for its maintenance, which 
was the Rockland County Times. The Times is owned and edited by 
]\Iichael McCabe, who, without any previous experience in the news- 
paper business, has proved himself equal to the responsibilities which he 
assumed. Mr. McCabe's paper, which is fearless in expression, is a 
power in the iipper part of the county, and its editor and proprietor is 
as genial a friend as he is a writer and hard fighter for what he believes 
to be right. The Messenger is at present published by W. W. Fre_>'f ogle. 

Spring Valley has two newspapers, the Leader and the Sentinel, 
which do good work in their respective localities. Suffern has two news- 
papers, the Recorder, owned by Helmle Brothers, of Nyack, and the 
Independent. 

The history of journalism now changes to Nyack, which soon took 
the lead and held it as a newspaper town. 

August 7th, 1850, marks the commencement of a new era in the 
history of the place, for it was upon that date that the first number of a 



JOURNALISM IN ROCKLAND COUNTY. 2S9 

weekly newspaper was issued. It was called the Rockland County Jour- 
nal, and it was edited by William G. Haeselbartli. The first number 
was printed in Xew York city, but the oihce was soon after established 
in the village. The form of the paper was four pages and of the regular 
"blanket sheet" size. Robert Carpenter was employed as printer and 
when the first number was issued from the office in JTyack a large num- 
ber of people of the village crowded around the windows and doors to see 
the novel sight of printing a newspaper. The old style hand press of 
the latest improved pattern was used. The paper was then Democratic 
in politics, and a large number of subscribers greeted its weekly \dsits, 
as it gave them a knowledge of what was transpiring in the vicinity or 
throughout the county, which was more satisfactory than the uncer- 
tainties of gaining information by chance. The editor was a young man 
of considerable literary talent, and the columns of the first twenty years 
of the Journal bore evidence of his ability both as a poet and prose 
writer, and in local history and politics, and especially in the warfare 
of sharp and stinging satire, in which he was quite an adept. In 1861 
the paper changed to Republican in politics. 

The Journal had been published about nine years when a second 
paper was started in Nyack. This was the City and Country, by Robert 
Carpenter, on May 19th, 1859, the office being in the second story of a 
dilapidated building in the rear of the Refonned Church. The press 
and material used in issuing the new paper had been purchased from 
parties who had for a short time ran a paper called the Rockland County 
Democrat, printed somewhere outside the county, pi'obably in New 
York city. The first number Mr. Carpenter issued was called The Peo- 
ple's Advocate, but the name was soon changed to City and Countiy. 
Shortly after it commenced running Mr. Cai-jienter, tlu'ough the solici- 
tations of Rev. L. D. Mansfield, formed partnership with William Wirt 
Sikes, an accomplished literateur, but the partnership was of short dura- 
tion and Mr. Carpenter re-assumed entire control of the paper in 1861. 

It was between the years 1860 and 1870 that amateur journalism 
flourished to a considerable extent in Nyack in addition to the two well- 
established weekly papers, and several small journals were printed. 
Among the number were the Ray of Light, for J. Bolingbroke Rey- 
nolds, which expired after the first or second number. The Boys and 
Girls' Monthly, a magazine, was started by William B. Coming, which 



260 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

existed several montlis, and then tlie Home Cabinet, by Mr. Coming, 
Avhich existed a year or two. Several other ventures were made, tlio 
most important of which was the Monthly Visitor, a good sized paper, 
edited by C. A. Morford, Jr. All these were printed at the offices of the 
two larger papers. 

Many fluent and able wi-iters helped the columns of the Journal 
during the long interval of Messrs. Haeselbarth's and Charlton's editor- 
ship, i^revious to the advent of the dailies; and also during the early 
years of the City and Country' helped that paper to literary excellence. 
Among the early writers of poetry and prose are the names of Emeline 
Smith, of Piermont; Mrs. H. E. Haeselbarth, John Bolingbroke Rey- 
nolds, J. L. Eenton, Theander Secor, Henry jSTelson Hauua, Willie F. 
Gilchrest, Louis Henri Caldwell, William Wirt Sikes, Fannie A. Dean, 
and in poetry, particularly, such talented writei-s as Henri H. Fcnton, 
Martin Knapp, Frederic R. Marvin, John B. Ketchum, of Monsey, and 
Horace G. Knapp. 

In about the year 1S7G M. F. Onderdonk started a job printing 
office in the Onderdonk Block. Doing work at lower prices that at the 
other offices, the result was that it not only obliged the others to do 
work at lower figures, but increased the amount of printing in the \il- 
lage. Soon after this, Mr. Onderdonk started a small paper called the 
Eockland Advertiser. The first niuubcr appeared in Febnxai-y, 1879.- 
This was the third newspaper permanently established in Nyack, for it 
continued for nearly ten years. In February, 1880, the Eockland 
Advertiser was purchased by Horace Greeley Knapp, who enlarged and 
otherwise improved it, and changed its name to Advertiser and Chron- 
icle, though M. F. Onderdonk continued as printer. Martin Knap]) at 
first ser\^ed as associate editor, but was succeeded by E. H. Feuton, who 
remained nearly the rest of the year, during which time the paj>er 
obtained a firm foothold in the community and rapidly increased in cir- 
culation. On the withdrawal of E. H. Fenton, who returned to the 
City and Country, Martin Knapp again became associate editor. Soon 
after this, W. H. Blakeney bought the office from Onderdonk, and Mar- 
tin Knapp served awhile as editor in full charge for W. H. Blakeney, 
as his son, H. G. Knapp, had withdrawn. The paper was independent 
in politics and the annual subscription was one dollar. In September, 



JOURNALISM IN ROCKLAND COUNTY. 261 

1881, the jiaper was bought by Lafayette Markle, and the name again 
changed, to The Nyack Chronicle. 

The sudden death of Robert Carpenter, on October 13th, 1880, left 
his family in the management of the City and Country, until January 
1, 1881, when Joseph J. Hart, of Upper jSTyack, purchased the estab- 
lishment, taking in a printei', E. C. Fisk, as a nominal partner. The 
pai>er under the new management was somewhat improved and its sub- 
scription list increased. A new power press was also bought in place of 
the old Hoe hand press then in use. 

Soon after the Advertiser and Chronicle was sold to Blakeney, Wal- 
ter H. Supe, a lawyer of eccentric business habits and visionaiy ideas, 
published the Columbian, M. F. Onderdonk, who had purchased a new 
office, being its printer. Mr. SliTipe, himself, personated "Father (Colum- 
bia," and with a pen of sarcasm set out on a short but brilliant campaign 
of journalistic warfare. He was a most accomplished fighting editor, 
bold and aggressive in the Tise of the pen, calling upon the higher powers 
to uphold his righteous indignation, but, when worsted, was liable to 
spring some legal trap on his opponent to piit him to trouble. For this, 
and some other reasons, perhaps, his contemporaries learned to avoid 
a controversy with him and ignored him altogether. Like all the other 
entei-prises of Shupe, the paper was a failure, and he returned with it to 
~Sew York city, where it was finally extinguished. 

Aboiit the same time a monthly religiovis paper called the Cliuvch 
and Home was published from Onderdonk's office by Rev. William 
Stout, thus making five pid^lications for the village of ISJ^yack. The 
publication of weekly newspapers now reached its high-water mark. 

The next newspaper established in Nyack was the Lidependent 
Advertiser, edited by John V. Onderdonk, and printed at the office of 
his son, M. F. Onderdonk, in 1882. The little sheet was noted for its 
temperance principles, and was very outspoken, even to excess, which 
often endangered the personal safety of its editor. In 1885 Millard F. 
Onderdonk became proprietor of the paper and it was enlarged. 

In the meantime the Rockland Coimty Journal changed hands. 
The establishment in 1867 was owned by Richard P. Eells, who was not 
a newspaper man himself, but had acquired possession of the plant by 
having previously been its financial backer. In that year it was pur- 
chased by John Charlton, who had had some journalistic experience in 



262 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

California, as a reporter on SanFrancisco dailies. Mr. Charlton remained 
at its head for about seventeen years, when Dr. Frank B. Green bought 
the printing office and assumed the duties of editor. Dr. Green's health 
gave out soon after and he was obliged to leave the business iu the hands 
of others and seek the benefits of an ocean voyage. He had previously 
written a history of the county. 

In December, 1883, Joseph J. Hart withdrew from the City and 
Country, leaving E. C. Fisk in full charge. This responsibility proved 
too much for Fisk and the plant soon fell into the hands of a party called 
the "Rockland County Publishing Company." A printer by the name 
of Page was put in Fisk's place; but he too was unequal to the task, 
although the business was well established and should have been made 
to pay. 

In a short time afterwards the establishment Avas sold to Colonel C. 
C. Messervey, a western journalist and war vetei'an. He was induced to 
buy the concern from the Company by Fisk, who was thereby re-installed 
as foreman. The latter soon after left town abniptly, abandoning his 
position; also that of Town Clerk. Col. Messervey was a man of strong 
intellect and was authoritive in his manners and paid strict attention to 
business. The fanners from the country who formerly came in to pay 
their subscriptions in vegetables or fruit, and have a social chat with the 
editor, found a different kind of a man at the desk. 

Colonel Messervey brought the paper up again to its former standard 
for news, but the paper was enlarged to the extreme size of a "blanket 
sheet." It was a four page paper and the fonn of each page was twenty 
by twenty-six inches, making it inconvenient to handle. 

On October 15, 1888, Lafayette Markle, of the Nyack Chronicle, 
died of malignant diphtheria, and on the 18th of the same month Col- 
onel Messervey, of the City and Country, died. Dm'ing this month 
E. H. Fenton was in charge of the Chronicle. It was just on the eve 
of a Presidential election and the Chronicle, being a strong Republican 
paper, was kept up to its political interest to the last. Mr. Markle was 
a man of kind heart and social disposition, and his death was much 
deplored by those who intimately knew him. He was a native of Penn- 
sylvania, a college classmate, graduating with James G. Blaine, which 
had made him a strong supporter of the latter for the Presidency four 



JOURNALISM IN ROCKLAND COUNTY. 263 

years previous. He lacked business capacity, however, and failed to 
cope successfully with his political rival, the Journal. 

During Colonel Messervey's illness Joseph T. Kelly acted as editor 
of City and Country, but on the 12th of November, 1888, it was pur- 
chased by William R. Thompson, of Spring Valley, who assumed 
charge himself. 

The Chronicle was sold to Austin Decker on November 21st, and 
on December 6th the establishment was bought by A. C. Haeselbarth, 
who had been jjlaced in control of the Journal by the company that 
now owned it, and thus a troublesome rival was extinguished. 

About the middle of December, 1888, J. T. Kelly leased the Inde- 
pendent Advertiser, enlarged the paper and called it the Eockland 
( 'oimty Democrat. M. F. Ouderdonk remained as foreman of the estab- 
lishment for a year. 

Adam C. Haeselbarth, who was now editor of the Journal, Dr. 
Green having died, was a son of W. G. Haeselbarth, its founder. On 
May 6th, 1889, Nyack's first daily paper, the Nyack Evening Journal, 
was started by A. C. Haeselbarth from this office. It was issued every 
afternoon and sold for two cents a copy at first and one cent afterward, 
and met with sufiicient support to fairly establish it in the commvmity. 
This event marks another era in the history of Nyack journalism. It 
threw the weekly papers in the background, as far as news was con- 
cerned; and, when, a little later, the second daily was started, the two 
dailies had the field almost to themselves. 

The Democrat, after running a year, was, on January 1st, 1890, 
bought by Frank P. Demarest, Kelly remaining as editor and publisher. 

It will thus be seen that there was a steady progress made in jour- 
nalism in Nyack for the first forty yeai's at least. With the increase 
of population the number of publications increased, and with a few 
exceptions, maintained a firm foothold. Enlargements, increase of cir- 
culation, and the spirit of enterprise, occasionally manifested, sen'ed to 
give Nyack quite a I'eputation as a newspaper town. It is a fact, how- 
ever, that while the managers aimed to give their readers large sheets 
of reading matter, quantities of county and village news, there was 
generally a deplorable lack of care as to the literary excellence of the 
weeklies. This fault prevailed more during the years after stereotype 
plate was introduced. 



264 HI3TORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

On January 1st, 1891, A. C. Haeselbarth withdrew from the Jour- 
nal, and the establishment was sold to the Helmle Bi'others, practical 
newspaper men from Brooklyn, who put a vast amount of energy into 
their business, and gave the Journal a metropolitan air, making many 
improvements in the paper and carrying it on successfully. Mr. George 
E. lielmle is the editor and manager. Aai-on W. VanKeuren, who had 
been connected with the paper for over twenty years, as a local writer, 
was retained. His knowledge of the town bv almost life-long residence, 
together %\ith his long experience in editorial woi'k, and talent as a 
writer, made his services of much value. Alexander Y. Hudson, who 
had been foreman for over thirty-five years, soon after resigned. Of 
these brothers, Mr. George B. lielmle remained as editor. 

Early in the following year Adam C. Haeselbarth induced "William 
R. Thompson, of City and Country, to start a second evening daily; 
and the first mimber of the Nyack Evening Star appeared on June 27th, 
1892, with A. C. Haeselbarth as city editor. Mr. Haeselbartli was a 
smooth and graceful writer and possessed a vein of humor that charac- 
terized much of his work. 

Nyack now had two daily and two weekly papers, the Democrat 
having expired. The latter had flourished under Onderdonk's man- 
agement, and after J. T. Kelly left, a number of would-be piibllshcrs 
attempted to keep it going, but no one succeeded. Finally the sheriff 
succeeded in closing its doors and the material was shipped to Haver- 
straw. The Mirror, a sixteen-page literary paper, was issued from the 
Democrat ofRce in 1891, but it only lasted a few months. Theodore 
Moore was its editor and publisher. 

In 1897 the Christian and Missionary Alliance, having established 
themselves on Xyack Heights, a printing house was built and their 
monthly religious journal was issued therefrom, under the editorial 
management of I\ev. A. B. Simpson. In the same year, 1897, a t,>^>e- 
setting machine was added to the Star oifice, thus doing away with a 
great deal of hand-setting. Linotype machines were also placed in the 
Alliance office. 

A few years after the Star was started, A. C. Haeselbarth withdrew 
from the editorial work and Frank B. Knapp took his place as city 
editor. Mr. Knapp was a young man who had at first entered the office 



JOURNALISM IN ROCKLAND COUNTY. 265 

as a compositor, but who proved by bis ability and tact in the presenta- 
tion of news to be specially qualified for the position to which he s\ic- 
cceded, and which he still liolds. On October 18th, 1899, a stock com- 
pany was foniier, known as the "Star Publishing Company of Nyack, 
N. Y." The officers and directf>rs for the fii"st year were: Harry L. 
Thompson, President; William J\. Thompson, Vice-President, and Al- 
fred Themans, Secretary and Treasurer. In November, 1901, William 
P. Thompson withdrew from the company. In January, 1902, the di- 
rectorate was increased and the following were elected: E. V. Loew, 
President; C. V. A. Blauvelt, Vice President; John D. Blauvelt, J. W. 
Dalley and A. Themans, Secretary and Treasurer. Mr. Themans has 
the general managejuent of the company. 

At the present time the offices of the two dailies are well equipped 
with machinery for book and newspaper work and stand far ahead of 
any othei-s between Newburgh and Xew York. The "Star" is an up-to- 
date office and shows what wonderful improvements have been made 
since the founder of the business, Eobert Carpenter, labored at the old- 
fashioned hand press, in pulling the bar, not only for every copy of the 
newsixaper, biit for everything that was printed — even to a small busi- 
ness card. Mr. Carpenter was a practical printer, attending to all the 
details of the office work, strict on time, and economical in the extreme, 
but no more honest man ever picked up a type. As a writer he only 
wrote as far as he was obliged to of the local news of the day. 

At the close of the centmy a glance through Rockland coxinty shows 
that several weekly newspapers had evolved from the numerous jiatent- 
sheets and bid fair to become permanent. They seemed at that date to 
have obtained a foothold in the villages and rural districts througliout 
the county. 

A weekly paper, known as the Orangetown News, had been run- 
ning for some time previous to 1901, when Mr. William W. W^hyard, 
of Xyack, bought tlie concern in the fall of 1901, and under the new 
management it soon obtained a reputation for the oi'iginal, humorous 
and attractive style of its contents, and gave promise of coming to stay. 



266 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 



THE EOMAN CATHOLIC CHUECH IN ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

It is only from the second quarter of the past century that the Roman 
Catholic Church dates its history in Eockhmd county, but from that 
time to the present its archi\'es tell a story of steady growth and progress 
tliat fully compensates for the lack of Catholic participation in the early 
days of the county. 

There is no record that there were those of the Catholic faith among 
the early settlers who first tilled the virgin soil of the regions now 
embraced in the limits of Rockland county, but that there were some| we 
have no doubt. However, their numbers were probably few and their 
homes scattered, as we find no evidences of Catholic aid in the early 
shaping of the county's destiny. 

The historian is led back to the year 1832, when John DuBois, 
Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in New York, purchased of the 
heirs of William Perry one hundred and sixty-two acres of land in what 
is now Upper Nyack. The land was pleasantly situated along the river 
front and extended up to the top of the Hook Mountain. The Bishop's 
purpose was to erect a seminary building for the education of priests 
and a church wherein the Catholics of the community could worship. 
Father McGeary supervised the construction of the Imilding at first, but 
was later succeeded by Father Marshall. 

While the seminary was being erected Father John McCloskey, who 
later became Archbishop of New York, and the first American Cardinal, 
was appointed pastor of the mission. It is interesting to note that the 
first mass in Rockland county was said in the old house near the "'Green 
Mansion," on Broadway, Upper Nyack. In this house was also opened 
a school, under charge of Father McCloskey. Such was the humble 
beginning of Catholicism in our county, which to-day boasts of so many 
splendid edifices dedicated to the faith. 

After five years of work the seminary building neared completion. 
It was a three-story brown stone stnicture, eighty feet long and fiu-ty 
feet deep, comprising a central building and two wings. When there 
only remained the interior fittings to be finished, a fire liroke out at noon 



ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCHES IN ROCKLAND COUNTY. 267 

one day in the south wing, and, spreading, totally destroyed the entire 
structure. Bishop DuBois believed that the destiiiction of the seminary 
was the work of an incendiary, and, becoming disheartened, he sold the 
property at a sacrifice, giving up his well laid plans. By a thorough and 
impartial investigation, it has been proven since that the burning was 
the result of a careless workman's act, and not through design, as the 
good Bishop, in his bitter disappointment, thought. 

About thirty years passed before Catholic services were again held in 
the comity. Those of the faith were at a great disadvantage, as to attend 
church services they were compelled to travel either to Vei-planck's 
Point, near Peekskill, or to Jersey City. 

THE CHUECH AT HAVERSTEAW. 

In the year 1843 mass was celebrated in the house of Patrick Eiley, 
ai Ilaverstraw, by Father Volamus. Shortly after this tlie Catholics of 
Ilaverstraw organized and purchased land for a building. On Sunday, 
Xovembcr 14, 1847, the church was opened for services and in 1849 it 
was dedicated by Bishop Hughes. In the history of Ilaverstraw in tliis 
volume is given a detailed account of the growth and present condition of 
this parish. 

ST. JOHN'S CHUECH AT PIEEMONT. 

In 1848 the Eev. Francis McKeone was appointed the first pastor 
of the Haverstraw Church and was given charge of all the Catholics 
then in Eockland county. He did not confine his labors to Haverstraw, 
but sought to widen his influence in other parts of the county. Through 
his efforts a congregation was formed in Piermont and regular meetings 
were held in the old Odd Fellows' Hall. Thought was soon given to 
the erection of a proper place of worship, and, as a result, land wis ]^ur- 
chased on the north side of the creek, nearly opposite the present 
Eeformed Church. Work was begun on a building in J 85], and on 
January 1, 1852, the first mass was celebrated in the edifice, amid great 
rejoicing on the part of the Catholic population. A few months later, 
on July 1, the Eev. John Quinn was appointed pastor at Piennont, his 
parish including all the coimty south of Haverstraw, and, of course, tak- 
ing in Nyack. This arrangement proved satisfactory for nine years, 
but as the Catholics of Nyack grew in number they complained of the 



268 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

distance tliey liacl to travel to worship, and wlien the shops of the Eric 
R. R. Company were located in Piermont, there was s\ich an increase 
in the Catholic congregation that the original edifice proved inadeqnate. 
A change of location was rendered necessary, and so the land on Avhii-h 
the present St. John's Church stands was procured. In 1860 work wa.s 
commenced on a new clmrch, but when the building was raised and 
ready to be roofed, a great storm felled the walls to the ground. This 
was a hard blow to the congregation, but courage was not lacking. 
Work was re-commenced with new vigor and on August 13, 18G1, mass 
was said in the new edifice. The present pastor is the Rev. P. J. O'Meara, 
who is both efficient and popular. 

ST. ANN'S CHURCH. 

The dissatisfaction of Nyack Catholics at the inconvenience they 
were put to led them to organize for the purpose of having a chnrcli of 
their own. Religious services were held regiilarly, beginning in lS(i5, 
in the building on the comer of Main and Bridge streets. By 1867 the 
congregation was strong enough to purchase four lots of ground on Jef- 
ferson street, which is the nucleus of the pi"esent magnificent chiircli 
property. The erection of a church, to be known as St. Ann's, was 
begun, and on January 1, 1869, first mass was celebrated in it by Rev. 
John (Juinn. This beloved pastor labored for twenty-three and a half 
yeai-s among his people, and largely through his efforts the churches at 
Nyack, Sufl'ern and Spring Valley were organized and built, and the 
lilauvelt Church added. Father Quin died in 1875. His assistant, Rev. 
W. L. Penny, was appointed rector of St. Ann's and St. John's Churches 
by Cardinal ]\rcCloskey. In 1885 St. Ann's became practically an inde- 
pendent parish, in that year the pastoral residence being removed to the 
rectory, adjoining the church. The parish grew and prospered, taking 
the lead over the mother parish at Piermont. Father Penny was 
appointed irremovable rector of St. Patrick's Church, Newburgh, in 
1S!)(». He was succeeded by the present rector, the Rev. James L. 
Crosby, who began his pastorate with the energy and hard work tliat 
has since characterized it. In December, 1891, he purchased for the 
church the house and gToimds of the Rev. Frank Babbitt, adjoining the 
properties of St. Ann's and Grace Episcopal Church. In September, 
1892, he opened a primary parochial school in the house purchased from 



ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCHES IN ROCKLAND COUNTY. 269 

the Ilev. Mr. Babbitt, on Franklin sti-eet, wliicb was placed under the 
charge of Sister Mary Edwine and three associate Sisters of Charity. 
Soon after the opening of the school the donation of Miss Hacket, to be 
applied to the erection of a church, was received. The receipt of this 
donation gaA^e the pastor lioj^e. that what he long thonght necessary wonld 
be accomplished. He had long felt the necessity of more cluirch accom- 
modation for the Catholics of JSTyack, especially in the summer season, 
when so many strangers sojourn at that place. He was seconded in his 
efforts by his parishioners, who, though poor, were exceedingly generous; 
but it was the mimificence of the Marquise de San Marzano that made 
the hope of the pastor a reality. While the church was in coui-se of con- 
struction, ground Avas broken in the early spring of 1894 for the erection 
of a two-story school house, forty feet by sixty feet, which adjoins old 
St. Ann's, on the south, and which was oisened in Scpieiid)er, fully 
furnished and equipped for educational purposes, under charge of Sister 
Mary Edwine and four associate Sisters of Charity. 

On Sunday, June l(i, 1895, the new church was consecrated with im- 
posing ceremonies. According to the Eomau Catholic ritual, no church 
can be consecrated until it is entirely free from debt. This was the case 
upon the completion of the church and it remains so until this day. Not 
only the church but the entire gi'oup of buildings devoted to religious 
and educational pui-poses are free of debt. This result is due to the busi- 
ness ability and untiring devotion of Father Crosby. It is not strange 
that he is beloved by his people. The church was consecrated by the 
!Mo8t Rev. Archbishop Corrigan, assisted by the Very Rev. Dean Penny, 
Rev. Father Colton, Rev. James S. Fenton, Rev. Wm. Crosby, Rev. M. 
Connolly and six Jesuit priests from the Chm'cli of St. Francis Xavier, 
New York. 

ST. ROSE CHURCH OF LIMA. 

For many years the Catholics in the vicinity of Suffern had to go 
to either Paterson, N. J., Greenwood, Orange county, or Piennont, 
except upon occasions when Father Quinn held services in the house of 
William Cannon. However, in 1868, a site was donated by George W. 
Suffern and the present edifice was erected. Rev. John Brogan was 
the first pastor and in 1870 was succeeded by Rev. James Quinn. Rev. 
Father Mcrridith is the present pastor. 



270 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

CHURCH OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION. 

Abovit the year 1847 the Catholics of Tomkins Cove were wont to 
worshij:) in the old store where resided an Irishman named John Mc- 
Grath. Mass was celebrated there about once a mouth by Father Mc- 
Keon of the Haverstraw parish. He was succeeded by Rev. Father 
Ten-ence Scullen, who also celebrated mass on Sundays in the house of 
John Coffray, for the benefit of those living in the vicinity. This con- 
dition existed for a number of years, but in the year 1861 a sepai-ate 
organization called Church of the Immaculate Conception was perfected 
and the present building erected under the guidance of Rev. Father 
Mahoney. He and his successor, Rev. Father Baxter, ministered per- 
iodically to the people until the year 1886, when the Rev. J. P. Bren- 
nan was appointed the first resident pastor. He was succe-eded by Rev. 
Michael J. McElroy and he in tiirn by Rev. Richard J. Keefe and the 
present pastor. Rev. James Jackson. In the year 1899 the Catholics of 
tirassy Point then attached to the Haverstraw parish were organized into 
a separate body by the Rev. Father Baxter, of St. Peter's Church of 
Haverstraw, under the name of St. Joseph's, and a handsome church 
edifice was erected. This organization was set off from St. Peter's par- 
ish soon after and placed under Rev. Father McEvoy of the Tomkins 
Cove parish. Since this was effected the Tomkins Cove and Grassy 
Point churches have been imder common control, the pastor ministering 
each Sunday at each church. The parish is in a flourishing condition 
generally. 

ST. CATHERINE'S CHURCH. 

In 1868 a society of Catholics at what was then Blauvcltvillc began 
the erection of a church. George M. Ledigcr donated four acres of land 
and on January 17, 1869, the church was finished and dedicated. Most 
of the communicants were Gennans, who at first attended services 
in the Piermont church, but being slightly acqiiainted with the English 
lang-uage, they were at a disadvantage, and, too, the distance they had 
to travel was great. In their new church services were held in their 
native tongue. The church was supplied from New York until 1870, 
when Rev. Joseph Bruhy became pastor. He remained as such \mtil 
May 1st, 1874, when he died. For aboiit two years Rev. Emil Stcnzel 
was pastor, after which Rev. W. L. Penny and Rev. P. J. O'Meara 



ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCHES IN ROCKLAND COUNTY. 271 

atteuded to the needs of tlie congregation. Eev. Nicholas Sorg was 
pastor fi'om February', 1887, to March, 1879, when he was succeeded by 
Rev. M. Kuhnen. Father Saur is the present rector and also chaplain of 
the Dominican Convent. 

ST. AGNES' CHURCH. 

The untiring Father Qiiinn became convinced in 1868 that the Cath- 
olics of Spring Valley were niimeroi;s and strong enough to waiTaiit a 
church of their own, so accordingly the fovmdations of an edifice were 
laid. However, it proA'ed that their strength had been over estimated, 
as the work dragged. For a time it was discontinued and then it slowl_y 
advanced. In 1880 the church was declared completed. 

In the year 1895 the Rev. John G. McCormack Avas assigned as rec- 
tor of St. Agnes' Church, Spring Valley, and also of P.ardonia and Pearl 
River by Archbishop Corrigan. His predecessor. Rev. Father Hughes, 
was the first resident rector of St. Agnes' Church and the founder of 
the Catholic parish in Bardonia and Pearl River. 

The Rev. Father McCormack is a native of New England and a son 
of the late John McCormack, a successful builder in Newport, R. I. He 
came to New York in 1880 as a j'ouug man and entered St. Francis 
Xavier College, and saibsequently entered upon his divinity course at 
Niagara University, where he was, after the regular course demanded by 
the Catholic Church, ordained to the Catholic priopthood. Tlie Rev. 
Father McConnack is a man of about thirty-nine or forty years and is 
remarkable for his restless energy and execntive ability, as is qviite man- 
ifest in his success in his church interests in Rockland county. When 
he assumed charge of his present church he found the Spring Valley par- 
ish encumbered with an indebtedness of $10,000 to $12,000, with a con- 
gregation too small in number to control it. The reverend gentleman 
inimediately set to work, and, by his collecting tours in New York c'ty 
and assisted by the co-operation of his people, not only mastered the debt, 
but improved the property to the value of several thousand dollars, estab- 
lishing at the same time the nucleus for the fund for building a church 
at Bardonia. 

At his request the latter fund and charge was turned over to the 
Rev. Mr. Mulhearn, then rector of the Catholic Church at Congers. 
Later the Rev. Mr. McCormack purchased a valuable tract of land on 



272 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Serveu's Hill, Pearl Eiver, and erected a beautiful Catholic Church, 
"St. Margaret's," for the use of the Catholics in that section. This 
church was dedicated by Archbishop Corrigan in September, 1901, 
assisted by many Catholic dignitaries. During Father McCormack's 
time in Rockland county he has won the respect and esteem of its cit- 
izens iiTespective of religious belief, and has ever enlisted himself by 
voice and j)en in all things conducive to the welfare of the community. 
As a ready talker, a finished conversationalist and an eloquent preacher, 
together with his business ability, he has done much to advance not only 
the interests of his own people, but as well to promote in general good 
citizenship, and all that tends to the advancement of the county. 

ST. PAUL'S CHURCH. 

In the year 1S94, St. Paul's Church was erected at Congers, on the 
Lake road. Rev. J. J. Mulhearn was the first pastor. The present pas- 
tor is the Rev. John Nageleiscn, who was bora in Pequa, Ohio, August 
27, 1S()1, and was educated in the Seminary of the Arch-Diocese of Cin- 
cinnatti. He made his theological studies there also, and was ordained 
priest in 1885. From 1885 to 1887 he was Professor of Philosophy in 
this institution, when failing health prevailed upon him to take up par- 
ish work, for four yeai-s. Recovering his health, he was appointed Pro- 
fessor of Languages in St. Joseph's College, Indiana. He was stationed 
there for five years. At the expiration of this period he again took up 
parish work in the Arch-diocese of Cincinnatti for one year, and in 1S07 
he was appointed to St. Boniface, at Second avenue and Forty-second 
street, New York city, and in 1898 to the rectorship of St. Paul's, at 
Congers, I^. Y. During these years of priesthood Father Xageleisen 
has been doing in a very qiiiet and unobtnisive manner a work that has 
made him well known in the Catholic world. Active and energetic in 
his methods, master of several languages, a writer with the simplicity 
of cradition, acquainted with many branches of science, and still eager 
to learn. Father Nageleisen is highly reverenced and respected by his 
parishioners and the public. During his pastorate at St. Paul's he has 
built three churches, these at New City, Rockland Lake and Bardonia, 
named respectively St. Augustine's, St. Michael's and St. Anthony's. 
He has also vastly improved the suiToundings of St. Paxil's at Congers, 
jST. Y. During his pastorate at St. Paul's he has not accepted any salary. 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 273 



CHAPTER XVI. 
TOWN OF IIAVERSTKAW. 

The precinct of Haverstraw was set off from Orangotown on the 24th 
of June, 1719, after the principal free-holders and inhabitants of Haver- 
straw had petitioned for the separation, giving as a reason their great 
distance from Tappan. Under the provisions of the Act of the General 
Assembly the first election for precinct officers was held on the first Tues- 
day of April, 1720, when one Super\'isor, one Collector, two Assessoi-s, 
one Constable and two Commissioners of Highways were chosen. The 
boundaries of the new precinct were indicated with an indefiniteness 
characteristic of the age: "From the northciinost bounds of Tappan to 
the uorthennost boimds of Haverstraw" was the official description. The 
popiilation comprised scarcely one hundred families. A considerable 
nixmber, if not the majority, resided in a district in the central part of 
the precinct, called at first Kakiat, an abre\'iation of an Indian name 
(Kackyachtaweke). The land contained in that district had been 
granted by patent in 1696 to Daniel Honan and Michael Howdon. Some 
of the families who settled themselves there came from Orangetown; 
others from Hempstead, Long Island. During the years immediately 
preceding the erection of the precinct there was a steady in-coming of 
settlers, but the county, though richly endowed by !N^aturc, was still a 
wilderness. 

When Michael Howden died, about 1711, his executors sold off his 
half of the tract, in parcels of 400 acres cacli in most cases, to John Alli- 
son, Charles Mott, Elbert Montfort, William Hutchins, Cornelius Cuy- 
per, Thomas Kirbie, Thomas Barker, Jacob Remsen, Richard Combs, 
William Campbell, John Palmer, Tinmtliy Halstead, John Wood, 
George Downing, Jonathan Seaman, Jonathan Rose, Abraham Denton, 
Nicholas Conklin, William Osborn and Richard Pierce. 

Daniel Honan sold his half of the Kakiat patent in 17 16 to John 
McEvors, who in turn sold half of what he had to Lancaster Symes, iu 
1717. Symes sold off pieces before his death in 1723, and his widow 
and son disposed of the remainder. 



274 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Thus were tlic fertile lands in the central ]inrt of the precinct taken 
up. Other patents were parceled out in much the same way, and by 
1738 the number of inhabitants in the precinct had increased to G34. 
The DeHarte patent on the river shore after passing through various 
hands came finally into the possession of John Allison and John De- 
K^oyelles. Allison bought his half of the patent from Albert Minnie in 
1729. This is part of the Cnim Patent. Upon the death of John Alli- 
son, in 1754, his lands passed to his son Joseph; and when John DeNoy- 
ellcs died, in 1775, his real estate fell to his sons John and Peter. The 
Allison residence had a commanding situation on the river-bank, twenty 
rods north of the present Main street. The southern boundary of the 
fann in part corresponded to our present SoTith street. The estate was a 
pleasant one to gaze upon, with its level fields and groves of great trees. 
The DeNoyelles homestead was situated near the shore (about opposite 
the middle of the present cofferdam), north of Kiers' dock, which was 
near the foot of the Short, Clove. The King's Highway, corresponding in 
part to West street and Broadway, ran along the river bank, past the 
DeNoyelles dwelling and between the storehouse and the dwelling of 
Major Kiers to the Long Clove, and thence on through the mountains. 
John DeNoyelles erected this dwelling about the year 1771. Mr. 
DelNoyelles was a member of the Pro^^ncial Assembly at the time of his 
death. He was then but 41 years old. The old DeXoyelles burying 
ground received his remains. Of Huguenot origin, he was an uncom- 
promising advocate of independence and liberty, political and religious. 
He bought the south part, of the DeHarte patent from the heirs of Cor- 
nelius Cuyper in 1769. The family residence was burned down by a 
marauding party from a British fleet on the night of June 20, 1781. A 
new home was built close by, by Peter DelSToyelles, and it was here that 
the early Methodists of this section met for religious purposes. Tlie 
wife of Peter was a daughter of Theodore Snedeker. They had seven 
sons and five daughters, who, when they grew to manhood and woman- 
hood, made family connections with the Harings, Theills, Smiths, Coes 
and Lawrences. 

From the southern part of the Allison farm ten acres were sold in 
Joseph Allison's time to Thomas Smith and Juhn Shepherd. Smith was 
a lawyer and a brother of Joshua Hett Smith. Before he died, in 1795, 
he said he would give the Methodists a site for a church whenever they 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 275 

should need it, and this promise was honored by his son William. Shep- 
herd was a Revolutionary captain. The ten-acre lot was bounded by 
lines corresponding to Main street on the north, Front street on the east, 
South street on the south and West street on the west. This tract is 
important because it was the site of the original village — the first plot 
to be laid out in streets and house lots. 

At the close of the Revolution many families from elsewhere sought 
homes in this county, and the precinct of Haverstraw received no small 
portion of the increase. In 1790 the number of inJialntants had grown 
to 4,826. The title of "Precinct" was retained until 1788, when by an 
act of the Legislature that divided the counties of this State into towns, 
Haverstraw became a township. 

The next important change came in 1791 (March 18), when the towns 
of Clarkstown and ISTew Hempstead (now Ramapo) were erected and set 
off from Haverstraw. With two-thirds of her former population and 
three-foiTrths of her original territory gone, Haverstraw began life anew 
in greatly reduced circumstances. Even the towTi records were taken, so 
that there is nothing back of 1791 on the official books. The whole num- 
ber of families left in the toAvn after the partition was less than two hun- 
dred. There was one church, the First Presbyterian, which stood on 
the hill west of Benson's Corners. Half a dozen mills, as many forges, 
a few taverns, tanneries and stores, were the extent of the business inter- 
ests apart from agriculture. Peck & Ramsey's mill, in the present Gar- 
nerville, and Herman's, near Minnie's Falls, were the principal grist 
mills. John I. Moutanye ran a saw mill. Prominent fanners and land- 
owners, living north and northwest of the Allison farm, were : Captain 
Lamb, John Crom, John Armstrong, John Waldron, Jacob Waldron, 
Alexander Crom, Benjamin Coe, Samuel Brewster, Thomas Smith, Wil- 
liam Smith, Robert Henry, Jacob Roosa, Thomas Hays, Abraham Wal- 
dron, Matthew Benson, Benjamin Benson, Thomas Brewster, John 
Johnston, Jr., Jacob Sabriska, Benjamin Blagg, Ebenezer Bishop, Wil- 
liam Peck, James Ramsey, Nathaniel Dubois, Isaac Gumee, Francis 
Gumee, Henry Halstead, Caleb Seaman, Thomas Kemp, Capt. Tobias 
Denmdc, Gilbert Phillips, David Burns, Michael Hay, Ebenezer Bishop, 
Thomas ISTorth, George Lee, Samuel Goetchius, William Byron, Peter 
Bi-ush, William Carr, Royal Flint, Jacob Theills, John Suffern, Cor- 
nelius DeGraw, Mordicai Mott, John Springsteen, Isaac Babcock. 



276 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

John Waklron aud his brother Jacob, John Armstrong and John 
Crom were niamed to daughters of Capt. James Lamb, who was a Tory 
during the Revolution. CajDtain Lamb's wife was a daughter of Her- 
cules Lent, who owned large tracts of land now embraced in Stony Point 
town. Half of this estate fell to Mrs. Lamb, besides which Capt. Lamb 
inherited large tracts from his father, Jacob. Colonel Abraham Lent, of 
the Orangetown militia regiment, was a brother of Mrs. Lamb. John 
Crom resided at the junction of the road to Stony Point and the road to 
the west on the Crom Patent, near a large black walnut tree, under 
which the soldiers of a Continental army that was then in this yicinity 
once receiyed the money due them. John Crom died in 1795, and his 
son John was the last Crom to own any part of the original fanii. Rob- 
ert Henry's farm lay between Floras Falls and the Crom farm. It was 
a part of the Henry farm that George Weiant afterward bought. Jacob 
Waldron resided on the north side of Floras Falls, in a house still stand- 
ing, but not in its original place. Upon the site once occupied by John 
Waldron's home the William H. Rose mansion was reared. The Stony 
Point promontory was owned in the Waldron family during the Revo- 
lution. Samuel Brewster was interested in iron mines and forges, and 
lived near Tomkins Cove, in a pretty place on the river bank, long ago 
dug away. A small grist mill stood on the brook that ran near the dwell- 
ing. The seat of the Coe family was near the present Mount Ivy station 
of the N. J. and N. Y. railroad. Benjamin Coe was the first Supervisor 
of the town after the partition of 1791. He had been twice sent to the 
State Assembly. His father, John Coe, had been a member of the Pro- 
vincial Congress, as well as County Judge. The neighborhood was also 
locally kno^\^l as Gurnee's Corners. The land of Francis Gurncc joined 
Benjamin Coe's. Joseph Theill's home was at Theill's Corners, where 
he had a forge and grist mill, and where in after years a hamlet with 
church and post office grew up. Mr. Theill owned about three thousand 
acres, half of which was mountain land. He was a native of Denmark. 
His death occurred about 1795, when he was aboiit 75 years of age. 
He left a son named John, born about 1770, who married Mar\', daugh- 
ter of Ebenezer McKenzie, who was a soldier of the Revolution. Mr. 
McKenzie was born in the Highlands of Scotland. On coming to this 
country, he landed first on N^antucket Island, and from there came to 
Stony Point in 1776. He was a sergeant in the First Massachusetts Reg- 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 277 

iment of the Continental Line during the war, served six years and nine 
months and was discharged at Newburgh, June 10, 1783. Mr. Hennan 
B. McKenzie of Haverstraw village is his grandson. 

Thomas Smith resided in the "Treason House," and William Smith 
was his son and the donor of the first Methodist Church site. In still 
later years William Smith erected a fine mansion on the river-bank near 
Grassy Point, on land formerly o^\^led by Jacob Sabriska. Mr. Smith 
was a lawyer with an office in Xcw York, and this was his country-seat. 
As "Rosa Villa" the estate was long and widely known, but like some 
other homes on Haverstraw Bay it fell a prey to the brick industry. 
Thomas Smith gave a lot on Calico Hill to the early Presbyterians as a 
site for a church and school house. Thus, there are reasons apart from 
the Arnold and Andre affair why the people of Haverstraw should 
remember the Smith family. The dwelling of Ebenezer Bishop stood 
at the corner of the main road to Stony Point and the road running past 
the church. 

The church was built in 1790. The following year an agree- 
ment was signed that the Baptists should make certain repairs to the 
edifice and thereafter have the privilege of using it on alternate Sab- 
baths with the Presbyterians. David Bums was the Town Clerk in 
1791. His father, the Eev. Robert Burns, died in that year, aged 84, 
and his body was interred in the family plot on the homestead near Gar- 
nerville. The Rev. Robert Bums was the first minister to have a dwell- 
ing in Haverstraw town. Families long settled in the to\vn had private 
burying grounds, the DeXoyelles, Allison and Waldron graveyards being 
instances. With the Waldrons were buried some of the Weiants, Brew- 
sters. Goes, Bulsons and Goetchiuses. Mrs. Jacob Waldron lived to be 
10.3 years old, dying in 1844. Samuel Brewster died in 1821, aged 84. 
Jacob Waldron died in 1805, aged 67. Abram Waldron died in 1815, 
aged 45. Most of the old family graveyards have been blotted out of 
existence. The site of the first church in the town is indicated by a 
neglected graveyard. 

The first town meeting after the partition of the old town of Haver- 
straw was held at the house of David Bums on the 3rd of April, 1791. 
The follo^ving town officers were elected: Supervisor, Benjamin Coe; 
Town Clerk, David Bums; Assessors, Jacob Waldron, Matthew Ben- 
son, Peter D. DeXoyclles; Collector, Nathaniel Dubois; Commissioners 



278 HISTORY OF ROCKI<AND COUNTY. 

of Roads, Jacob Waldron, Thomas !N^ortli, Benjamin Coe; Overseei's of 
the Poor, Cai^t. Tobias Derunde, Capt. Peter Allison; Constable, Gabriel 
Conkling; Fence Viewers, Isaac Gumee, John Crom; District Eoad- 
masters, Benjamin Coe, Thomas Smith, Peter DeNoyelles, Henry Hal- 
stead, Caleb Seaman, Thomas Kemp, Zebulon Williams; Isaac Gumee, 
Capt. Tobias Derunde, Thomas North, Gilbert Phillips. 

Benjamin Coe was elected Supervisor every year until 1800, when 
Peter DeNoyelles was chosen in his stead. David Burns held the office 
of Town Clerk until 1805, when Nathaniel Dubois was elected in 
his place. 

The educational facilities conformed to the requirments of the age. 
Mention is made in the proceedings of the Highway Commissioners, 
under date of 1796, of a school house near Francis Gurnee's. Another 
was situated near Garnerville. The next reference to the schools in tJie 
town records was made in the year 1813, when, pursuant to a new State 
law, the town was divided into six school districts. By 1817 three of 
these had disiippeared. The districts remaining were called No. 1, No. 
3 and No. 4. District No. 1 extended from Grassy Point to Clarkstowu, 
and from the river west to a north and south line through Halstead 
Gurnee's mill dam. District No. 3 was the present West Haverstraw 
and Garnerville section. District No. 2, which had given up its school, 
was situated north of No. 1. The children of that district now attended 
schools No. 1 and No. 3. The number of children enrolled in District 
No. 1 was 130; in District No. 3, 129; in District No. 4, 177. Another 
school, No. 5, was built in 1820. By 1828 the number of schools had 
been increased to six. 

The most important improvements in the early history of the town- 
ship were connected with the laying out of new roads and the altering of 
old ones. The records regarding these are numerous, though not very 
intelligible at this day. They evince a progressive spirit in the fathers, 
as well as a steadily increasing population for the town. The road dis- 
tricts of the town in 1827 were twenty-three in number. Among the 
early Commissioners of Highways were Benjamin Coe, Matthew Ben- 
son; Jacob Waldron, Thomas North, Samuel Goetchius, David Burns, 
Nathaniel Dubois, Peter DeNoyelles, Andrew Suffem, Samuel Brewster, 
George Lee. It was the general practice of the people to pomiit their 
cattle to roam at large. This was the consequence of a deficiency in 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 279 

fences. The cows carried certain private ear-marks by which tliey were 
Icnown to their owners. The "car-marks" were registered at the Town 
Clerk's office. One owner is on record as refusing to brand his cattle 
because of conscientious sciiiples. 

Many slaves were owned in the town at the beginning of the century. 
Among the holders were Peter DeNoyelles, Matthew Benson, Elizabeth 
Smith, Samuel Goetschius, Stephen March, William Denning, Thomas 
Hay, Resolvent Waldron, Jacob Waldron, John UelSfoyelles, Walter T. 
Smith, Michael Hay, Peter Allison, John D. Clark, Robert Henr)', 
Andrew Suft'ern, George Campbell, James Brewster, Samuel Smith and 
Thomas Smith. 

On election days polls were open at three places in the town. In 
1810 the voting places were Burns's tavern, at Mead's Comers; Post's 
tavern, which stood on the site of Denton Fowler's residence on Front 
street, and the dwelling house of Aaron DeCamp, at Stony Point. Town 
meetings had been held at Burns's from the earliest times. 

At the beginning of the nineteenth centuiy the population of the 
entire town of Haverstraw was 1,229, including slaves. The DeNoyelles 
and Allison farms, covering the larger part of the present village of Hav- 
erstraw, were substantially intact, except for the ten-acre lot that had 
passed to William Smith. Only one building stood on this lot and that 
was the tavern at "Martling's Corner." Another tavern, kept by Mr. 
Post, stood on the site now occupied by Denton Fowler's residence. A 
dwelling occupied by Mrs. Green (near the present Suffern home) and 
Judge DeNoyelles's dwelling, south of Post's tavern, were the only other 
houses in the neighborhood. Four in all, and all on the line of the pres- 
ent Front street. Back from the river and along the main road (the 
King's Highway) were but four houses between Martling's corner and 
Gurnee's mill. The principal commercial outlet was Captain DejSToy- 
elles' landing, below Martling's comer. Several sloops ran from this 
wharf to New York. There was a back country trade, important even 
then, in the year 1800, and destined in succeeding years to increase to 
large proportions. Iron industries were springing up in the Raniapo 
Clove, for which Haverstraw was the most accessible port. Until 1830 
the larger part of the output of these works were hauled to Haverstraw 
by teams and shipped from here in sloops. The inland transportation 
was favored by a good road. It was this back country trade, and not 



280 HISTORY OF ROCKL,AND COUNTY. 

forces contained iu Ilaverstraw itself, wliicli gave the village its first 
impetus. Haverstraw town itself had no exporting industries of distinc- 
tive importance, except in cordwood and iron ore from the mountains. 
The village, however, was a natural shipping point and market town for 
the country to the west, and until that commerce was cut ofi^ the place 
thrived. It is said that when one door of opportunty closes, another 
opens; Ilaverstraw has found it so. 

Perceiving that there was a demand for home sites by men con- 
nected with trade and transportation, William Smith, in 1803, caused 
his ten-acre tract to be laid out in streets and building lots, employing for 
that purpose a Nyack surveyor named Tunis Smith. This village plot 
was bounded by Main, Front, South and West streets. Probably the 
proprietor himself selected the names for the streets. It is regretted 
that he did not choose better ones. During the first decade of the cen- 
tury Haverstraw town inci-eased fifty per cent in population, not a little 
of it being represented by the growth of the village. The notable 
improvments of the period were the building of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church and the "Academy," both in 1810. The first teacher in the 
school was Mr. Quinn, who married one of his pupils, Miss Eliza Wan- 
dell, who was the last survivor of the multitude that \vitnessed the 
execution of Major Andre. The Wandell family moved here from Tap- 
jia.n in 1794, when the site of the village was a rye field. Commerce 
increasing, John Allison built a dock north of ]\Iain street in 1812. 
Three years later the foundation of the present brick industry was laid 
by James Wood. 

Mr. Ileman B. McKenzie, who was born in West street, in 1822, 
remembers distinctly the Ilaverstraw village of his boyhood. He first 
.saw the light in the house that had been the residence of Michael Trout, 
who was a fifer in the Revolution, and whose widow died while kneeling 
in prayer in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Main street as Mr. ^Ic- 
Kenzie first knew it contained but four houses on the south side, and two 
dwellings, two stores and three barns on the north side. On the corner 
now oceiTpied by the United States Hotel Samuel G. Johnson kept a har- 
ness shop and tavern. Johnson was succeeded by Isaac ilartling, a tav- 
ern keeper. The building was burned in 1850. On the opposite comer 
lived Captain John Felter, who owned a dock at the foot of Main street, 
and also owned the sloop "John Felter." Eugene Smith then kept the 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 281 

Union Hotel. It was here that the Masonic Lodge first met. Opposite 
lived John Van Dyke, father-in-law of the hotel proprietor. At the cor- 
ner of j\lain and West streets was the house of Abram Marks; on the 
corner ojiposite, on the north side of Main, was the general store and post 
office of Marks A: Sherwood. On the corner of Main and Fonrtli Walter 
Sniitli lived and kept store. 

Among the early residents of Front street, south of Main, were Gil- 
I>ert Furman, Garret Allison, who had a large shipyard on the beach 
in front of his house; C-apt. Jolm DeGroat, John T. Smith, a lawyer; 
Ivalpli Van Iloutcn, who kept a small store and public house, and Capt. 
Edward DeXoyelles. The DeXoyelles had a dock and store, besides a 
sloop, the "J. G. Pierson," which carried the product of the Ramapo iron 
works to New York. The store was at the end of the street, which here 
turned and met West street. On the turn was the Pierson's mule sheds, 
where were stabled the wagons and teams that brought the freight from 
the Ramapo iron works. Usually three teams were hitched to each 
wagon. That part of the village is greatly changed; much has been 
dug away. 

Captain John DeGroat sailed the sloop ''John Felter" and in later 
years the Adelaide, a shwp built by Daniel DoNoyellcs. Denton Fow- 
ler's house occupies the site of the Post house, one of the first built in 
Ilaverstraw. On the l^ach below Felter's dock was the shipyard of Gar- 
ret Allison and next south was Taylor's dock. Nothing inter\'encu 
between that and the DeXoyelles store and landing, which were five or 
six hundred yards south. The first brickyard encoimtered was Daniel 
DeXoyelles', below which was James Wood's. Between the two brick- 
yards was a burying gToiind for slaves. There wei-e a number of docks. 
A hundred yards south of Felter's was Noah Brown's, which was not 
used A^athin Mr. McKenzie's recollection. Between that and the Pullen 
Point landing was an old abandoned stone dock. Steamboats stopped 
occasionally at Pullen's Point dock, which was also used by the Pecks. 
There was nothing between Pullen's Point and Grassy Point, but at the 
latter place was a large hotel and a store, besides tlie pier. At the foot 
of Long Clove was Snedeker's landing, where steamboats once stopped. 
The Eockland landed at DeXoyelles' dock. A large country trade came 
down to Felter's as well as to DeXoyelles' wharf. Great quantities of 
wood were shipped from Ilaverstraw. 



282 HISTORY OF ROCKL,AND COUNTY. 

Wlien winter came the cold was steady. Snow lay on the groiind the 
season through. Garret Allison was the father of Michael Allison, who 
learned the shipbuilding trade here, then moved to Jersey City and 
became one of the most prominent boat Iniilders of his time. Michael 
was the builder of the steamboats Mary Powell and James W. Baldwin. 
His grave is in Mount Repose Cemetery. Behind the stores on the north 
side of Main street was an orchard. In the valley, near where the First 
Presbyterian Church was afterward erected, was a large millpond. At 
''Gm'nee's comers" John and Leonard Gurnee kept a store. Leonard 
died in 1852, aged CO. He passed all his life in this neighborhood, and 
for forty years was a member of the M. E. Church, mostly as an officer. 

Meanwhile the brick industry was gro^ving and offering new oppor- 
tunities for the investment of capital and the employment of labor. In 
1830 a decided impetus was given to the town by the setting up of rolling 
mills on Minisceongo creek, by the firm of Peck & Phelps, who had long 
been engaged in the tin plate business at New York, with a branch in 
Liverpool, Eng. Elisha Peck had been in charge of the foreign branch 
for fifteen years, when, in the summer of 1830, the firm having decided 
to build works at Haverstraw, he returned to this country, bringing 
machinery for a rolling mill. Mr. Peck's partner, Anson G. Phelj^s, had 
already purchased the site. A manufacturing business was started that 
in a few years reached large proportions. The prochict was sheet iron, 
thin wire, screws, sulphuric acid and other chemicals. A village that 
grew up at the works was named Samsondale, in honor of the ship Sam- 
son, which broiight Mr. Peck back from England. A tramway to Pul- 
len's point was laid, by which mainifactures and supplies were carried to 
and from the firm's wharf. The opportunity for employment offered by 
the works and the consequent increase of population encouraged exten- 
sive building operations; and in 1837 a large section of the Allison farm, 
north of Main street and east of Broadway, was laid out in streets and 
lots, by the owaiers of the tract, George S. and Michael Allison, and 
called the "Village of Warren." In the following year came the Gar- 
ners to acquire and develop a small calico printing business that had 
been started by John Glass ten years before, but which had made little 
headway owing to tlie death of Mr. Gla.ss, by an accident, in 1831. The 
steamboat era had l>egun and Mr. Glass was going to Xew York on the 
General Jackson, with a large quantity of goods from his mill, when the 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 283 

steamboat cxiiloded ^v•hile yot lying at tlio wliarf at Grassy Point, and 
Mr. Glass was anion.g the fourteen persons killed. Success immediate 
and continuous attended the print works \inder the proprietorship of the 
Garnei"8. The busi ncss established by Peck & Phelps, liowever, encoun- 
tered such unfavorable tariff legislation in 1842 as to necessitate the 
closing of the rolling mill and the iron works. But from this misfortune 
the town recovered in 1844, when Higgins & Company leased buildings 
from Mr. Peck and i-jarried forward a carpet manufacturing business that 
employed about two hundred and fifty hands. The total number of x>eo- 
ple employed by the factories of Garnerville and Samsondale in 1846 
was nearly a thousanci'. The number of brickyards had increased to 
twenty- seven, which gtive employment to 650 men during the season, 
manufactured seventy million brick, aiul consumed 10,800 cords of 
wood. The pcnnanent population of the tow^l was aboiit three thou- 
sand. Two church edifices were in course of erection. The number of 
stores was twelve, and thi-ee steamboats carried freight and passengers 
from the village to New York. The manufacturing interests of the 
district were further diversified in 1848, when the Wai'ren Foundry, 
then in West stre«t, began operations, the proprietors being Myron 
Ward and Richard A. Vervai'en, and the product principally stoves and 
plows. Afterward the business was can-ied on on the river front, man- 
ufacturing brick machines. 

The Haverstraw of this era was depicted in a lecture entitled "Thirty 
Years in Haverstraw," delivered b}^ the Eev. Amassa S. Freeman, I). D., 
in the Central Presbyterian Church Janiiary 1, 1878. From the manu- 
script of that lecture, with the permilssion of the family, through Mr. 
William A. Speck, the following paragT-aphs are taken: 

"Of course the river flowed and the liTigh Tor looked down upon iis 
then as now. The steamboat landing was DeNoyelles & Gurnee's (the 
lower dock), of which only some spiles are n^nw left. The store was the 
lower store at the head of the dock so long closved. There a large trade 
was driven by Capt. Edward DelSToyelles, John and Leonard Gurnec. 
Follow up Front street and how changed ! Captain .Edward DeNoyelles 
had lived for many years in the second house, now occupied by his 
widow. Then came Ealph Van Houten's, not greatly cilianged, for he 
and his wife celebrated a few yeax's ago their golden wedding in the same 
house in which they were married. The house of the late Mrs; Martha 



284 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. . 

DelSToyellcs, now occupied by John L., stood wlicrc it does now, tliough 
entirely remodeled. But above that the houses of Isiaac Milburn, S. C. 
Blauvelt, Mr. Goldsmith, S. A. Vervalen, indeed all the way to Main 
street, how different. A few small houses were then;, but some have 
been torn down, some rebuilt, some removed. Up by where Ira Hedges 
lives was the little school house of D. B. Loomis, which he occupied 
after leaving the Academy. 

''From Martling's corner up Main street to the coraer of First was a 
row of dilapidated wooden buildings. A fire swept t'nem all away and it 
proved a public benefit, as more substantial buildings took their place. 
Follow up Main street (south side) and most of the buildings now stand- 
ing, have been put up since. . . . The buildings on the north side 
also are almost entirely changed. . . . Following up Front street, 
above Main, the house which stood where Mr. Amos Briggs now lives 
was carried around into Broad street, and is now occupied by his son 
Charles. The next house, now occupied by Theodore Fredericks, on 
the same spot, is greatly altered. Where Mr. Kneuder lives, in a brick 
house built by Arnet Seaman, was a frame- house occupied by Rev. 
James Ilildreth, pastor of the First Presbytei .an Church, then on Calico 
hill. Mr. Hildreth's house was moved twicr3; first to the rear of the lot, 
then to where it now stands, next door to C. Briggs's, now the residence 
of John C. Coe. The present residence of Judge Suffern was then occu- 
pied by H. Cr. Prall, with an office in thr southeast corner. It is nearly 
the only building on Main street or on Front that was there in 1840, that 
wa.s not rebuilt. 

"Almost all the village north o"'' Main street, including Rockland, 
Broad, Division and Clinton, is nev\ . In coming down from Garnerville, 
where in 1847 I uiBed to board with Henry Garner of the Print Works, 
we used to drive across lots in front of this church to where Judge Suf- 
fern lives. There were a fe'vv, very few, houses in the neighborhood of 
the settlement about the old Catholic church. By the bridge as you 
aj^proach Samsondale were the carpet works with one hundred looms of 
the Iliggins brothei-s , afterwards removed to Forty-second street, ISTew 
York. Mo.st of the houses as you approach Garnerville have been built 
since then, thorigh Benson's corner was much as now. On the corner 
opposite G. Bf.^nson's residence a store was then kept by IMajor John I. 
Suffern and. Ephcnetus Wheeler. On the hill, by the entrance to the res- 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 285 

idence of Jolm Peck (then his father, Elisha Peck's) stood the okl First 
Presbyterian Chiircli, a square, barn-like wooden building. There 
Dominic Pelton preacdied for many years, then Mr. llildreth. 

The greatest change in localities is in the road along shore from the 
village to Grassy Point. After crossing the railroad above Peck and 
Briggs's yard, we used to ascend a hill and ride on through a grove of 
beautiful trees. Part of the way up was what was called the Narrow 
Passage, a ravine where if two vehicles met, the one nearer the entrance 
must back out. Back of Grassy Point landing was a sloping bank, with 
gardens and shade trees, where now are pits. The road from the vil- 
lage to Grassy Point is something like a channel at Sandy Hook, where 
the sands shift so often that one needs always a pilot to carry him 
through. As to Grassy Point itself, I never saw the grass. It must 
have gone before I came here. At the Point the foundry of Mr. John 
Wiles is still carried on by his entei-prising sons. 

"Our route to New York in those days was by Piennont. Picrmont 
was the eastern terminus of the Erie railroad, and large, heavy steam- 
boats, the 'New Haven' and 'Iron Witch,' used in winter to force a pas- 
sage through the ice. The western terminus of the road was then at 
Otisville, beyond Middletown. Charles B. Snedeker ran the stage to 
Piennont. I think by that route I introduced the first melodeon into 
Haverstraw, in the winter of 1847. Speaking of music, the Messenger 
of October, 1847, has the following: 'We take pleasure in announcing 
to our readers that a singing school has been opened in our village under 
the managementof Mr. Heman B. McKenzie, choiristcr of the Metho- 
dist Church. The school will meet at the Academy on Monday evenings" 
In those days H. B. McKenzie in the M. E. and John S. Smith in this 
church used to start the tunes by the aid of tuning-forks. About this 
time (1847) the announcement is made of divine service according to the 
usage of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Methodist house of wor- 
ship, by Rev. W. F. Walker, missionary of the Rockland County Episco- 
pal Mis.sion. In 1849 the Haverstraw debating society for the first time 
proclaimed itself, and the following question was announced to be dis- 
cussed, over Mr. J. King's paint shop: 'Is the acquisition of California 
a benefit to this country?' 

"Among the advertisements during 1849 are James King, painter; 
H. Felter & Co., bakery; George S. Myers, stove and tin establishment; 



286 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

George Anderson, stone cutter; W. Potter daguerrean, opposite Felter's 
bakery; Miss Benson, milliner; H. P. Cropsey, dry goods, successor to 
C. C. O. Blauvelt; Ezra Mead, A. A. Conkling, tailor; Jacob Stagg, 
Jacob Allison, blacksniitliing, on Main street; William Bryne, bakery; 
Theodore Polhemus, carriage maker; C. A. Rand, Temperance House. 
The opening of Warren Hall, in the second story of a building 
on Main street, now occupied by the Messrs. Penny, grocers, was an 
event of interest, followed by many pleasant evenings in connection mth 
the Warren Lyceum. The store was then occupied by S. C. Blauvelt, 
who enlarged it and fitted up the second story a,s a hall, in 1854. There, 
on Saturday, Nov. 18, 1854, the Warren Lyceum was organized. A. E. 
Suffem was called to the chair ; Edward Pye, secretary. A course of lec- 
tures was delivered that winter to large audiences. 

"The physicians of thirty years ago were: Doctors Pratt, Govan, 
Whipple and Purdue, then Au.stin, Reeve, Dixon, Alexander, Sloat, 
Lilienthal, Ropeke, McKnight, Sargent, Reisberg, Springer, Taylor, 
Tanner, Allen, Owen, House, Chambre, Bogert, Stahl. Lawyers: H. 
G. Prall, Quentin McAdam, Edward Pye, David C. Ringland, A. E. 
Suffem, C. P. Hoffman, Spencer Weiant, J. H. Hopper, Fen-is, L. V. E. 
Robinson, Robert Patton, Wheeler, Batchclder, Brown, G. R. Weiant, 
Cyrillus Myers. 

"Where are they who trod our streets and who were the prominent 
citizens of this town thirty years ago? Most of them to-night are with 
the dead. 'Theplaces that knew them know them no more!' Each one's 
memory can perform its own office and call up familiar faces of kindred 
and friends that are seen no longer among the living. 

Mount Repose Cemetery was publicly set apart with appropriate 
ceremonies in July, 1853. We owe it to the active efforts of the Rev. J. 
C. Ayars that this beautiful spot at the foot of the mountains was 
selected. The opening prayer was by the Rev. W. H. Miller, address on 
the methods of burial by different nations by the Rev. James H. McFar- 
land, then pastor of the M. E. Church. Other addresses were delivered 
by the Rev. Dr. Freeman and the Rev. J. C. Ayars, then of Jersey City. 
Closing prayer by the Rev. Hudson, of the Methodist Protestant Church. 
The Catholic Cemetery adjoining Mount Repose was opened in 1877. 

The village of Haverstraw was incorporated in 1854 and was at fii"st 
named Warren. The steps which led to this consummation were taken 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 287 

at meeting's of citizens in the latter part of the year 1853. A census of 
the inhabitants in December disclosed a population of 1,760 within the 
proposed boundaries, and a geographical survey gave an acreage of 493. 
On February 4th a petition, with a map aynexed, was presented to the 
Court of General Sessions, praying for authority to incorporate. The 
petitioners were Henry P. Cropsey, Samuel C. Blauvelt, Abram DcBaun, 
Garret DeBaun, Lems R. Mackey, John C. Coe, James Creney, Daniel 
C. Springsteen, John DeBann, Ezra Mead, A. Edward Suffcrn, Samuel 
A. Ven^alen. The Court (County Judge William F. Frazcr and Justices 
James SufFem and W. Dickenson) made an order granting the petition 
and setting apart the territory described as the Village of Warren, pro- 
Abided at a special election appointed for that purpose a majority of the 
electors indicated their approval. At the election, which was held on 
the 11th of March, 187 votes were cast in favor and only 8 against. The 
first village officers were chosen at an election held at the house of John 
Begg, April 8, 1854. The whole number of votes cast for Trustee was 
751, of which Henry P. Cropsey received 87; Edward Pye 104; Heniy 
M. Peck 87; George E. De;Nroyelles 151; Richard A.Vervalen 144; 
Abram Marks 62; John S. Gumee 64; Garret S. Storms 52. Messrs. 
DeNoyelles, Vervalen, Pye, Peck and Cropsey were declared elected. 
At the same time Isaac Sherwood was chosen Assessor; Samiiel C. Blau- 
velt, Clerk; Isaac Milburn, Treasurer; George S. Meyers, Collector; 
Peter Titns, Poundmaster; William R. Lane, George S. Meyers and 
Walter Johnson, Fire Wardens. 

The first meeting of the trustees was held on Wednesday evening, 
April 12, 1854. Edward Pye was chosen President of the Board. The 
first act of the board after organizing was to pass a series of ordinances 
intended for the preserA-ation of public order and decency. One pro- 
vided for proper respect to the Sabbath; another laid a prohibition 
against domestic animals running at large. Up to this time Haverstraw 
had no system for extinguishing fires, except that a few yeai"s before 
(Januaiy 28th) a hook and ladder company had been fonned and some 
ladders and a tnick to carry them had been bought for $252.39, the 
money being si;bscribed at the organization meeting held in the ballroom 
of the American Hotel. There was a feeling of insecurity, and a general 
sentiment for better arrangement. In fact, a desire for a fire department 
had been one of the reasons for incorporating the village. Accordingly, 



288 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

when the trustees next met, which was on April 24th, resolutions were 
passed ordering a special election to be held on May 17th, at which time 
the taxpayers were to vote for or against the following recpiisitions: 
(1) $1,200 for a fire engine, Jiose carriage and 400 feet of hose; (2) $300 
for building three public cisterns; (3) $500 for building an engine ho\isc; 
(4) $15 for erecting a suitable poiind. Sixty-five votes were cast at the 
election, all being in favor. 

At the same election the property owners voted in favor of laying 
sidewalks in all the principal streets. Brick or flagstone was specified 
for Main street and brick, flagstone or two-inch plank for other streets. 

A Board of Health, of which Cornelius Allison was chainnan and 
Arnet Seaman secretary, began in July to hold weekly meetings. One 
of the first acts of this board was to instruct the Health Officer to inspect 
the condition of all tenements, and to direct the removal of all nuisances. 
The new fire-engine, with the hose can'iage and hose, amved in Sep- 
tember. 

These several improvements were the first fruits of incorporation. 
For the second year Edward Pye, H. M. Peck, Andrew DeBaun, Leon- 
ard Gurnec and Heman M. McKenzie were elected trustees. Isaiah 
Milburn was appointed Street Conmiissioner and George S. Myers Police 
Constable. 

A survey of the streets of the village was ordered in March, 1856, 
and in June of the same year Main street was ordered to be graded and 
paved. In March, 1857, the taxpayers, upon the recommendation of the 
Board of Trustees, voted for the purchase of another fire engine, and 
appropriated $300 for that purpose, together -with $400 for four hun- 
dred feet of hose. Four more public cisterns were constructed about the 
same time. The engine was bought, second-hand, in Newburgh, and 
received the name of Union Engine No. 2. A new fire company was 
organized to take charge of the machine, and Mr. McLauren's cai^penter- 
shop was rented for fire quarters. The first membere of this company 
were: Thomas J). Milderberger, Abram Felter, Abram C. Vanllouton, 
William D. La Montanye, Abram Sneider, John Turnbull, Daniel 
DoXoyclles, M. M. Milderberger, E. M. Farrington, Wm. B. McLauren, 
AVilliam Felter, Isaac H. Duryea, John C. Coe, James Creny, Jr., Wal- 
ter S. Johnson, Epenetiis Jones, Herman Springsteen, Joseph Porter, 
A. V. B. Stagg, Abram Blauvelt, Levi D. West, John P. Jersey, Wm. 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 289 

# 

D. Fiirman, Hannan Feltcr, Jolm Trcadway, Jacob R. Westcrvelt. 
Many others joined subsequently. 

All the fire companies, the service being popular and aifordiiig means 
of social and physical exei'cise, obtained large membership rolls. The 
first members of Warren Engine Co. No. 1 (organized May 15, 185-4) 
were: George Meyers, Foreman; H. VerValen, S. F. Requa, E. M. 
Farrington, W. W. Oldfield, G. W. Bullis, D. DeXoyelles, J. H. Miller, 
W. Seai-sby, G. W. Snedeker, G. Anderson, H. Stagg, W. Schank, S. G. 
Xewman, S. Fowler, C. Ward, P. Schoonmaker, X. DeGroat, II. Jones, 
J. Glassy, J. Wescott, T. Brannan, T. Murphy, R. Mackeral, W. II. Fer- 
don, John Phillips, James Serat, Michael Flynn, L. F. Williker. 

A great event in 1857 was the laying of the corner-stone for a monu- 
ment to General Wayne on Stony Point. It was the seventy-eighth 
anniversai-y of the battle. Orations were delivered by Rev. Amassa J. 
Paker, General Benjamin F. Butler, Erastus Blrooks, A. B. Conger, Col. 
Scrugham and John Lawrence DeNoyelles. The monument has not yet 
been erected. 

In February, 1858, the sum of $1,000 was appropriated for buying a 
lot and building a house for Engine No. 2 and Hook and Ladder No. 1. 
Trustee John L. DeNoyelles reported the following month that he had 
bought a lot 25 by 100 feet, in Division street from George S. Allison, 
for $300. On this lot an engine house, planned by John R. McKenzie, 
was erected. 

Rescue Hook and Ladder Company was not at this time under the 
control of the village trustees, but was an independent and self-sup- 
porting company, having been organized previous to the incorporation 
of the village. But in April, 1859, by resolution of the tnxstees, 
the company was accepted and made a legal part of the village 
fire department, mth the understanding that the debts against 
the company should be paid by the village. This was the company which 
had been organized on January 28th, 1854, at the American Hotel. The 
first members were: Asbury DeNoyelles, Foreman; James Creney, 
Assistant Foreman; James King, Secretary; J. W. Edwards, Treasurer; 
Lewis R. Mackey, Samuel A. YerValcn, Daniel C. Springsteen, Ilarman 
Felter, Edward Felter, William Fclter, John Begg, John Felter, Isaiah 
^lilburn, John Jones, I. Weiant Edwards, William R. Lane, William 
Sedell, (Captain) John Gaines (the champion skater of the Hudson), 



290 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Theodore Polhemus, William B. McLauren, Edgar Freeman, George E. 
DeNoyelles, Lewis S. Wliitaker, Edward Peck, Silas G. Mackej, Mat- 
thew Eose, Aaron E. ililbiirn. Garret S. Storms, James Glassy, Jackson 
Eose, James Hazard, Jacob Allison, John P. Jersey, Theodore Fred- 
ericks, Stephen Fields, Abram D. VerValen, ISTathaniel Cooper, John 
Cosgrove, Denton Fowler, Phillip Schoonmaker, Bradley Keesler, James 
Creney, Jr. 

Chief Engineers for the fire department were first elected in 1859 
(May 10), under a special act of the Legislature jiassed February 14th uf 
that year. Samuel A. VerValen was elected Chief Engineer, W. VJ. 
Oldfield, First Assistant, and Benjamin Felter, Second Assistant. 

The Board of Trustees had no standing committees until 1858, when 
the members were divided into the following committees: On Streets, 
Fire, Village Ordinances, Police and Finance. When the board, in 

1858, desiring to build a lock-up, asked for an appropriation of $200, 
the taxpayers voted the measure down. The first meetings of the Board 
of Trustees were held at the office of President Pye, afterward at the 
office of his successor, Cornelius Hoffman, later at the United States 
Hotel, then at the house of Kescue Hook and Ladder Company and after- 
ward in Osbom Hall. Illuminating gas was introdiiced in the village in 

1859, by H. A. Haughwout & Co., of New York, who received permis- 
sion from the Trustees to construct works and lay pipes, but the corpora- 
tion did not use the gas for street lamps until 1870. An important woi-k 
taken up in 1860 was the improvement of the Short Clove road, by cut- 
cing down the grade to 12 1/2 per cent. The cost was $1,600, which was 
paid in the course of two years. 

OFF TO WAR. 

When the rebel guns opened fire against Fort Sumter, the North 
sprang to arms. In Haverstraw a mass meeting of the friends of the 
Union was instantly called, and on the evening of April 22, 1861, the 
Wigwam was crowded to the doors and rang with the patriotic cheers of 
loyal Americans. General George S. Allison, was the chairman and 
John I. Cole the secretary of the meeting. War speeches were delivered, 
and subscriptions were asked to a fund to assist the families of volun- 
teei-s. The following named were appointed a committee to take charge 
of the fund and disburse it: H. M. Peck, Alex. Waldron, Eev. P. 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 291 

Mahoney, Rev. Dr. Crane, Alexander Davidson, Rev. F. L. King, Rev. 
J. J. Smith, Rev. A. S. Freeman, General G. S. xVllisou, John L. 
DeNoyelles, William Call, John W. Felter. The sum of $3,335 was 
subscribed at the meeting and all through the war funds continued to 
flow into this committee or its successors from various sources. Enlist- 
ment rolls were opened the next day, and many of Ilaverstraw's young 
men came forward and signed. Two representative companies were 
raised in the village and town. One took the naone first of the Warren 
Rifles and aftenvard of the DelSI^oyelles Guards and chose Edward Pye, 
a lawyer and former President of the village, for captain. The other 
company was called the Stephens Guards, and chose for officers Captain 
A. F. Ingold, Lieut. A. S. Gurnee and Lieut. J. 11. Weaver. 

The DeNoyelles Guai-ds were the first to march away. On the last 
Sabbath evening before their departure, they proceeded to the Central 
Presbyterian Church, to attend di\'ine service. It was an occasion as 
solemn as it was memorable. Four of the village clergymen occupied 
the pulpit and the house was filled with the relatives and friends of the 
volunteers. The Rev. Messrs. Marsh of the First Presbyterian Church, 
Crane of the Methodist Church, Hepburn of the Episcopal Church, and 
Dr. Freeman participated in the exercises. Dr. Freeman, in his address, 
said: "A strange sight greets our eyes to-day in this house of God. 
What neither yoii nor I ever expected to see. Here are soldiers enlisted 
for war. A war in our own land. You go to fight, if need be. Yet not to 
destroy, but to save. To save our country and to preserve for yourselves 
and for us dear-bought privileges, to maintain oiir government and that 
Union under which we were born, and in which we have enjoyed such 
blessings. And we have met to speak some parting words to you, my 
friends, who go forth to maintain the Constitution and the laws of your 
country. . . . You go as our representatives. I need not repeat 
the assurances of our interest in your welfare. This vast congregation 
testifies it. This union of many religious societies and Christian hearts 
testifies it, and these earnest words addressed to you, expressing the feel- 
ings of all who are present, echo it. . . . Some of you we have long 
known. Some are comparative strangers. You are of different nation- 
alities and of different religious faiths. But we forget all other dift'er- 
ences to-day in the thought that you go to engage in a common cause 
for our nation's defence. May God go with you all; keep and preserve 



292 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

you and bring you back in safety. ... I take the liberty of pre- 
senting as a slight token of the interest I feel the camp library and pack- 
ages of tracts, for your reading in the camp. You will find among them 
memoirs of Christian soldiers who served God while serving their coun- 
try. Permit me to say also that the Sabbath school of this church, moved 
by the fact that one of its teachers and two or three of his class are mem- 
bei-s of this company, expressed a desire this morning to present to each 
soldier of this company a pocket copy of the New Testament. I shall 
see that you receive them" 

The Rev. Dr. Crane, of the M. E. Chui'ch, spoke in part as follows: 
"Half a million men are rallying for the battle, and you are among them. 
With uplifted hands yoii have each of you called God to witness that you 
will jierform faithfully the duty of an American soldier. Before you lies 
the tented field and war's magnificently stern array. When the hour of 
rctimi shall come, — and who shall behold it? — God alone can tell. But 
this we know, it is war and not a holiday parade that calls you forth. You 
think of the martial plain glistening far and wide with anns, and yet dark 
with its tens of thousands rushing to the conflict. Yoii hear in fancy the 
thunders of the cannonade, you feel the earth tremble beneath the tramp 
of legions dashing onward in the charge; you hear the exultant shouts of 
victory, thrilling you with a soldier's joy. . . . Go then, soldiers, 
where duty calls, not led by love of adventure, not with hearts of malice 
or hate, or with vain ambition; but with souls filled with the might of 
great jiurpose, a holy cause, whose altar is worthy of the sacrifice of 
blood, which a nation now lays upon it. And may the divine presence, 
like Israel's cloud and pillar of fire, go with you, pointing out the way, 
that you may prosper therein; and in due season return in peace to the 
friends who now with prayers and tears yield you up; return with souls 
imstained by the vices of the camp, to spend lives of usefulness and 
honor in the land which your own right arms have aided in saving from 
dishonor and ruin." 

On the morrow, at the Wigwam, a flag was presented to the com- 
pany by the ladies of the villag-e, the Rev. Dr. Freeman making the pre- 
sentation address. Captain Pye in responding promised for his com- 
rades to bring back the flag or leave their bodies with it on the field. 
The occasion, he added, was not one simply for talk, or glory or banners, 



TOWN OP HAVERSTRAW. 293 

but at such an hour it was becoming to recognize one higher than cartlily 
friends, and he called upon the Rev. Dr. Crane to close the proceedings 
with prayer. 

The next morning the company started, a multitude going before and 
following after, with music and cheers. At the landing the volunteers 
boarded the steamer Isaac P. Smith and on aiTiving at Xew York, were 
assigned to quarters in the "Red House." As part of the Xinety-fiftli 
New York Volunteers, they were thereafter known as Company F. 

The members of the company at this time were: John Abbott, W. 
E. Ackennan,* Frederick C. Adams, James Agnew, William Allison,* 
Samuel W. Babcock, James P. Babcock, John Barry, John Blower, 
John Brooks, Daniel Brooks, P. Broderick, Edw. Burke, B. B. Buno,* 
Nicholas Call, Lorenzo D. Conklin,* John Coleman, Matthew Connelly, 
James Cornelison, William M. Cosgrove, James Creney, Peter D. 
Bevoise, Hugh Doyle, P. DeNoyelles, John F. DeNoyelles, J. De La 
Montanye, Charles Dolson, William M. Frazer, F. A. Fletcher, Levi 
Frederick, Fenton, Gardner, Adam Glassing, Francis M. Gurnee, Thos. 
Hastings, Ira M. Hedges, Jesse B. Hedges, William Herrod, James 
Holden, W. C. Hinman,* John W. King, Charles E. Knapp, Daniel E. 
Knapp,* J. N. Knapp, Enos Jersey, Elihu Jones, James Larkin, James 
Luke, S. G. Mackey, John M. Guirk, John McDonald, Marshall Nye, 
Abram Odell, P. M. Osbom, John Palmer, Joseph Peck,* John Phil- 
lips,* Edwin Phillips, William H. Phillips, Edward Pye,* Jacob J. 
Rose, Patrick Ryan, R. J. Seeley, Abram Snedeker, John H. Smith, 
Richard O. Smith, William G. Smith,* William C. Slack, William L. 
Sherwood, George Stammers,* John Stalter, William Scott, John J. 
Titus, Seth Terry, Charles G. Turner, Edwin Thompson, R. D. Trap- 
liagen, Richard Welch, Edward Weiant, William H. Wright. 

The Stephens Guards changed their headquarters to the Wigwam 
after the departure of the first company. On the 21st of November 
they left, by the steamer Metamora, from Bogert's Wharf, for New 
York, cheered away by a multitude of friends, and on arriving at the 
city went into camp with the Ninety-fifth New York as Company B. 
The members of this company at this time were: Isaac Aiken, Morgan 
Brewster, Daniel B. Brewster, William Benson, Charles Bostedo, Wil- 
liam Fales, A. S. Gurnee, Theo. Hammond, James M. Hill, John Ilud- 

* Died in the service. 



294 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

son, A. F. Ingold, Isaac Knapp, George Knapp, Bradley Keesler, James 
Lent, Jesse Monroe, James McCormack, Charles W. Osbom,* William 
Thorn, George Phillips, William Phillips, Theo. Stalter, Joseph Stam- 
mers,* Richard Smith, Winfield Springsted, John Seeley, Charles Wal- 
dron, J. H. Weaver, Alexander Weiant, William Weiant. 

Company F, being permitted to return home for a few days at 
Thanksgiving, attended service on the fast day at the Central Presby- 
terian Church. After the sermon a flag, the gift of John L. Dc^SIoj^clles, 
was brought in and presented to the company, the Rev. Dr. Freeman 
making the presentation address. On December 5th Dominick Kennedy 
left Haverstraw with twenty-seven more members for the Ninety-fifth 
and later Lieut. S. W. Babcock recruited for the same regiment. In all, 
first and last, about two hundred men from Haverstraw enlisted in the 
Ninety-fifth. 

The regiment remained in camp at Harlem, waiting for the ranks 
to be filled, until February 20th, 1862, and then at New Doqi, Staten 
Island, until March 18th, when it started for Washington with nine hun- 
dred men. It was organized on March 6th, and George H. Biddle, who 
had been active in the work of recruiting, was commissioned colonel. 
Six of the companies were raised in New York city, two in Haverstraw, 
one in Sing Sing and one in Westchester county. Aniving in Washing- 
ton March 19th, 1862, the regiment was placed in General Wadswortli's 
command and stationed at Camp Thomas. After a short stay at tlie 
Capital, it crossed the Potomac into Virginia and encamped at Aqua 
creek. In May, 1862, it was assigned to Doubleday's brigade, with 
which it served in Pope's campaign. It was first under fire at Gainsville, 
Va., Aiigust 28th; this was one of the engagements connected with the 
Second Battle of Bull Run. The same day the Ninety-fifth took part in 
the fighting at Groveton, and on the 30th it was under fire again. The 
losses of the regiment in this battle were 23 killed and wounded and 90 
missing or captured, a total of 113. Many of the missing were also killed 
or wounded. 

Under the reorganization of the army following Pope's defeat and 
retirement, Doubleday's brigade became the Second in the Fii-st 
Division, First Corps, and was composed of the Seventh Indiana, Twenty- 
Sixth New York, Ninety-Fifth New York and Fifty-Sixth Pennsylva- 

"'■" Died in tJie service. 





WILLIAM MC(\VULEY. 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 29S 

nia. A participant in the Maryland campaign, the regiment, then nndcr 
the command of Major Edward Pye, fought in the great battles of South 
IMountain and Antietam, but came through with slight casualties. At 
Fredericksburgh, December 23, 1862, where Colonel Biddle com- 
manded, the regiment lay under a heavy artillery fire, and sustained a 
loss of one killed and three wounded. From this field the army went 
into winter quarters, the First Corps near Belle Plain, on Aqua creek. 
At Gettysburgh the Ninety-Fifth had 291 present. As part of Rey- 
nolds' (the Fii-st) corps, it engaged the enemy soon after ten o'clock on 
the morning of the first day's fighting, and at the Railroad Cut, with the 
aid of the Eighty-sixth New York and the Sixth Wisconsin, repulsed a 
large jDart of Davis's Mississippi brigade. At noon the regiment held a 
position at Oak Hill, and when outflanked moved to the right of the 
Seminary, where it supported Battery B of the Foui-th U. S. Artillery. 
On the second and third days of the great battle the regiment was po.sted 
on Culp's Hill. Casualties, 7 killed, 62 wounded, 46 missing. 

Col. Biddle and Lieut.-Col. Post resigned in October, 1863, when 
Major Pye was commissioned colonel and Captain James Creney lieu- 
tenant-colonel. The regiment after participating in the Mine Run affair, 
Nov. 26-Dec. 2, went into winter quartei-s in comfortable cabins near 
Culpepper, Va. The most of the original members re-enlisted and went 
home on a veteran furlough. In May, 1864, having received some re- 
cruits, the Ninety-Fifth started on the long and bloody campaign under 
Grant's leadership. In the Wilderness it lost 18 killed, 64 wounded, 92 
missing or captured. The Confederates captured all of Company E and 
parts of Companies A and I. At Spottsylvania our regiment lost 6 
killed, 51 wounded, 8 missing. At North Anna, 1 killed and 6 wounded. 
At Bethesda Church, 1 killed and 11 wounded. It was at Bethcsda 
Church (Cold Harbor, May 30-31,) that Colonel Pye received his mor- 
tal wound. He died ten days later, mourned as a manly and efficient of- 
ficer. Lieut.-Colonel Creney was severely wounded at Petersburgh, and 
then the command devolved upon Major Robert W. Bard. At the bat- 
tle of Weldon Railroad the Ninety-Fifth lost 6 killed, 20 wounded, 52 
captured. Colonel Creney rejoined the regiment in the latter part of 
August. Such had been the ravages of battle, only 213 men remained 
in the ranks. The last battles of the Ninety-fifth were Gravelly Run 
(March 31, 1865) and Five Forks, on the following day. Under the 



296 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

command of Captain George D. Knight the regiment went into action 
at Five Forks 94 strong. Its casualties in the two days' fighting were 4 
killed, C3 wounded and 9 missing. The noble remnant, as part of the 
Fifth Corps, pressed on in pursuit of Lee's retreating army and was in 
at the finish. When the roll of the regiments was called at Appomattox 
after Lee's surrender the gallant old Ninety-Fifth answered proudly. 
Here! On July 16, 1865, the regiment was mustered out. 

The body of Col. Pye was sent home, and -was buried from the Cen- 
tral Presbyterian Church, on Wednesday, June loth. The flag which 
the ladies of Haverstraw had presented to his company, and which had 
been carried with honor in many battles, was draped over his coffin. "He 
went forth at the call of his country," said Dr. Freeman in his eulogy. 
"I believe he was conscientious in going. . . . By merit he rose imtil he 
was appointed colonel of the regiment. In a letter I received from him, 
he said, 'God has mercifully preserved me. What purpose He has in 
store for me I know not. If I fall I only desire that my wife and chil- 
dren may never have cause to blush at my record, and that I may through 
Christ's merit fall a true soldier of the cross, as well as a valiant soldier 
of my country.' " He was buried in Oak Hill Cemeterj', Xyack. 

On the field of Gettysburgh there stands a monument to the Ninety- 
Fifth New York that was dedicated on July 1, 1893. Hon. Ira M. 
Hedges, in the dedicatory address said: "The small number here pres- 
ent are a majority of all that now remain. Many battlefields attest your 
braverj^ your patriotism and your loyalty. For a moment let us indulge 
a thought and drop a tear in memory of the loved and the fallen. Ho^y 
we all honor and revere the memory of Colonel Pye, Generals Double- 
day, Rice Cutler, Wadsworth, Newton, Reynolds, Meade and Grant, 
under whom we fought. This is the thirtieth anniversary of the terrific 
contest which took place on these grounds. How well do we recall the 
hot July day in 1863, when we stood where we now stand. But, oh, 
under what different circumstances! What changes have thirty years 
wrought. Then we were in the pride and vigor of our early manhood, 
and now the heads of all about me are whitened -with the frosts of years. 
How well do we recall the rapid march from Marsh Run that morning; 
how as we reached the town we realized that hot work was before us that 
day, when we heard the guns of Buford's cavalry; and we came up near 
to the old cemetery yonder, when the order to double quick was given. 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 297 

. . . Regiments, brigades and divisions came from all directions, 
and for a time it seemed as if the old First Army Corps (of which we are 
all so jiistlj' proud) woiild be annihilated. How nearly the Ninety-fifth 
and Fourteenth (Brooklyn) came to being flanked from our position, and 
the change of front we made under fire; how we charged across the plain 
to a point at this railroad cut! In this charge Coi"poral Ackerman and 
William F. Smith, of Company F, as well as a number of othere now 
here assembled, fell. Smith was killed and now fills one of the graves 
on yonder hillside marked 'Unknown.' Ackerman fell mortally 
wounded and died two days later. Here at this spot you will recall the 
fact of our capture of almost the entire Mississippi brigade. 
Our names will soon be forgotten, but the imperishable records of your 
deeds will live. Hallowed indeed is the sacred spot. Here rest peace- 
fully our young comrades, who marched and bivouacked with us, will- 
ingly giving their lives that, in the words of the immortal Lincoln, 'the 
government of the people by the people for the people should not perish 
from the earth.' " 

During the war the public means and energies of Havcrstraw town 
and \illage were mainly devoted to the support of the Union cause. All 
public interest was absorbed in this. When volunteering ceased, draft- 
ing began. In 1863 the firemen of the village formed an association, 
into the treasury of which each member paid $50, with the understand- 
ing that the fund would be used to release such members as should he 
drafted. In September of that year the village trustees, agreeably to a 
vote of the taxpayers, contributed $900 to the firemen's fund. On April 
1, 18C4, the Town Board, at a meeting in the oflUce of Judge SutlVrn, 
resolved that the Supervisors should raise money suflicient to pay for 
120 volunteei-s, toward filling the quota of the town, and it was further 
resolved to raise $38,000 on the credit of the town. Later in the same 
year the same board raised $75,000 more, "to pay bounties, incidental 
exix>nses of volunteering, and relief of families." The Supeiwisor was 
authorized to pay $275 to any person who should volunteer, and any 
taxpayer who should furnish a substitute under the call for 700,000 
troops, or any call thereafter, was assured that he should be assessed 
$275 out of the town fund. The Town also offered to pay each drafted 
man who served in person the same boimty as was paid to substitutes and 
volunteers. Afterwards the Town increased the bounty to $300. 



298 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Noble instances of self-sacrificing patriotism characterized in this 
town and village the long national crisis. The sons and brothers on the 
tiring line were ever kept in mind, the prayers of congTegations and 
home circles followed them, together with boxes of clothing and other 
snpplies contributed by the women's associations. 

Some years after the ending of the conflict village improvements 
were resnmed. The grades of Main and Front streets near the old U. S. 
Hotel were cut down in 1868; Wayne street was extended through from 
Clinton in 1870; night watchmen were first appointed in 1870; a lot in 
Middle street, north side, next east of the German Lutheran Churcli, 
was purchased for $600, as a site for a new engine house and reservoir 
in 1871; a steam fire engine, "Lady Warren," was also purchased in 
1871. Fire limits were first set in 1874, and the erecting of any other 
than brick, stone or iron structiires within the limits was prohibited 
thenceforth. As the village, though officially called "Warren," was 
commonly called "Ilaverstraw," the name was changed to Haverstraw 
in 1874; the record of the action in the village books is dated April 14. 
In 1876 the steam fire engine was rebuilt at a cost of $1,500; in the same 
year Mutual Hose Company was organized, and the carriage of Lady 
Warren company was assigned to the charge of the new company. 

The Haverstraw Library and Reading Room Association was a note- 
worthy public movement of the year 1873. Its object as the title 
implied was to establish and maintain a library, reading room, literary 
and scientific lectures and classes. A copy of the constitution and 
by-laws in the possession of Mr. W. A. Speck has annexed thereto the 
names of the first officers and directors, as follows: President, George 
IT. Smith; First Vice President, Silas Gardner; Second Vice President, 
Ira it. Hedges; Recording Secretary, Hendrick 1). Batclielder; Corres- 
ponding Secretary, Henry C. Vervalen; Treasurer, Theodore Gardner; 
Directors, Richard A. VerValen, Lavelette Wilson, Hendrick D. Batch- 
elder, Denton Fowler, Theo. Gardner, Ira M. Hedges, Rev. A. S. Free- 
man, Charles Brockaway, John R. McKenzie, John Derbyshire, Levi 
D. West, Isaiah M. Gardner, A. E. SufFern, George H. Smith, James F. 
Green. 

In 1878 the Board of Engineers of the Fire Department reported 
the Village Trustees that they had set about perfecting the discipline of 
the department, and to carry out the new system they had rented a 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 299 

room in the U. S. Hotel building as a headquarters for the firemen, or as 
a central point from whicli to develop operations. "That alone has cre- 
ated an interest in the department," they said, "and caused a number 
who were about to resign to remain. Again, the Board has adopted a 
system, as follows: To be at least four parades each year, namely three 
inspections and one dress parade. Our first inspection parade occurred 
on the afternoon of May 30, 1878. We need not inform you of the 
severe stonn that prevailed on that day, but despite the inclemency of 
the weather, the whole department was anxious for the test. The 
engine companies were massed in front of St. Liike's Church, and at a 
signal or alarm from the bell of the M. E. Church the several companies 
repaired to their respective houses, and thence with their apparatus to 
the several cisterns, in conjunction with the head of Main street. Each 
company laid four hundred feet of hose, adjusted its pipe, and passed 
water through the same. This system demonstrates the efficiency of 
our department, for in less than four minutes after an alann the com- 
panies can be forcing water on a fire. We next put Rescue Hook and 
Ladder Company through a similar test, starting at the old Post Office 
(Shenvoo<l building) on an alann from the same bell. The membei-s of 
the company ran to their house, and thence with their truck to the 
United States Hotel, where they shipped two ladders and raised them to 
the upper stoop; a member of the company ascended to the top with a 
Babcock fire extinguisher (borrowed) and started operations, all within 
considerable less than four minutes. Thus, you can perceive that our 
apparatus is all in good condition and every member in readiness to do 
his duty when called upon." 

Mutual Hose Company ISTo. 1. was disbanded for neglect of duty, 
September 2, 1878, and authority for a new hose company to be known 
as Triumph Hose ISTo. 1, and attached to the steamer Lady Washington, 
was issued by the Village Trustees September 25 of the same year. The 
following were elected members on the recommendation of the Board of 
Engineers: Daniel De N. DeGroat, John Bemhart, Henry F. Dorl, 
Cyrillus Fredericks, William Applegate, Charles Rockwell, William 
Duryea, Robert Bell, Sylvester S. Wood, John Fredericks, Warren 
Kingsland, George B. Weyant, Charles Xicolls, Fretleriek Abrams. 

In 1879 the Trustees appropriated, with the consent of the tax- 
payei-s, $1,300 for a new house for Rescue Hook and Ladder Company. 



300 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

The contracts for building were awarded to John W. Babcock and John 
Carson. 

In 1880 a new hose carriage was ordered from Enmsey & Co., at a 
cost of -ST-^O, and in December, 1881, the Engineers were directed to 
reorganize General Warren Engine Company No. 1. The sum of $1,000 
was appropriated in 1882, by a special election in llarch, for the build- 
ing of a new house for General WaiTcn Engine Company No. 1. 

WATER SUPPLY. 

Not yet had a general water supply been introduced into the village, 
but a serious tire on July 31, 1882, was the indirect cause of the turning 
of public attention to the deficiency. Following the fire the Board of 
Engineers, in a communication to the Board of Tr^istees, urged that a 
steam fire engine and more hose be purchased, and that a ''further sup- 
]dy of water" be secvired for fire purposes. A numerously signed peti- 
tion from taxpaj'ers being presented at the same time, the Trustees 
appropriated $5,000 for the pui'chase of a steamer and two thousand feet 
of hose, subject to the approval of the taxpayei-s at a special election 
called for September 25th. Before the election could be held the cpies- 
tion was raised in the public press if it would not be wiser to invest the 
public money in works that would not only furnish a pressure of water 
for fire p\n-poses but also a sui>ply for household use, and such was the 
change in public opinion that a I'esolution was passed by the Trustees 
on September 15th, rescinding the resolution to raise money for engine 
and hose, and on the motion of Trustee D. C. Springsteen a committee 
with three membci-s was appointed to ascertain where water could be 
procured to supply the village and the cost of piping it through the 
streets. President Osbom appointed as such committee Trustees D. C. 
Springsteen, William Kcesler and Farrel Redmond, who on October 
11th reported in part as follows: 

"The committ<^e appointed by the Board of Trustees to examine into 
the feasibility of bringing water into the village, together mth the prob- 
able cost of the same, have after a careful examination of various sources 
from which water can be obtained, decided to make their report : They 
find that to bring water from the Tunnel would be attended with many 
difficulties on account of the natiu'e of the cutting and filling on the line 
of the laying of the pipe, it being almost impossible to cover the pipe so 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 301 

as to protect it from the frost. Also, the difRculty and expense of con- 
structing a reservoir, together with the imcertainty of an unfailing sup- 
ply, and these difficulties would not wan-ant the expense." The com- 
mittee further reported that they had considered the advisability of 
bringing water from the springs in the Fowler and DeNoyellcs prop- 
erties by means of pumping, and deemed the plan objectionable on 
account of the heavy expense of providing and operating a pumping 
plant. The stream in the Sharpe valley, at the southerly end of the 
Garret J. Allison lot, "was considered unsuitable because of inadequate 
flow in dry seasons as well as insufficient elevation. The stream which 
the committee recommended as a source of supply, "has its headwaters," 
to quote the langiiage of the report, "up at John Springsteen's, 
and winding its way down through the valley south of Mead's Comers, 
it is enlarged l)y the water from several springs on the property of 
Springsteen, Allison and Mrs. John S. Guniee." The estimated quan- 
tity of water found running at the ]ilac« where a supply woiild be taken 
from the main stream and led into the reservoir was about eight hundred 
hogsheads in twenty-four hours. A reservoir, if constructed in the val- 
ley south of and near the residence of Mrs. John S. Gumee, would have 
an elevation of about one hundred and sixty feet above the river. The 
committee believed that an adequate supply could be obtained here, esti- 
mated the cost of conducting the water into the village and through the 
principal streets at about sixteen or seventeen thousand dollars, and rec- 
ommended the constraction of public works. 

The necessary aiTthorization was not, however, obtained, and the 
subject slumbered until April 24, 1884, when in a communication to the 
Trastecs, John Lockwood, Daniel Van Allen, John C. Lockwood, 
George William Ballou, Theodore M. K'evins, II. S. Ogden and C. A. 
Lockwood stated that they proposed to form a water works company in 
the village pursuant to an act of the Legislature passed June 12, 1873, 
with a proposed capital stock of $50,000, divided into five hundred 
shares of one himdred dollars each, and that the water would be obtained 
from streams in the village. They asked and at once received permis- 
sion to lay pipes through the village, upon condition that the works be 
completed by Xov. 1, 1885. But as nothing was done within the spe- 
cified period, the franchise was extended to Jvme 1, 188C. Mr. Lock- 
wood and liis associates, having organized as the Havei-straw Water Cora- 



302 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

pany, now asked permission to supply the \'illage from driven or open 
wells, and the request was granted upon condition that the company 
should furnish water to dwellings or tenemcut houses at the rate of ten 
dollars a year, for the first faucet, and for each additional faucet not 
exceeding two dollars per annum. The construction work now proceeded 
raijidly and in May, 1886, the Trustees offered the water company the 
sum of $1,200 per year for all the water the corporation might need for 
fire pui-jioses, forty hydrants to be available as a first installment, and 
additional ones to be erected by the village when desired. The com- 
pany put in operation within the specified time a driven well system 
with a pumping station at D. Fowler's brickyard, and with a water tower 
or tank at the foot of the mountain at the head of West street. The 
bonds of the company were mostly placed with iSTew York bankers. 

To meet an increased demand for water which the wells then in use 
could not supply, the West TIaverstraw Water Company was then organ- 
ized in 1889, and new works were constructed on the gravity plan, the 
source of supply being running springs at Theill's. The new works were 
established as a separate concern, but under the same o^vnership as the 
Haverstraw system. The pumping station and wells at Haverstraw were 
then abandoned, and that village, together with West Haverstraw and 
Gamerville, was supplied by the water from Theill's. When this source 
of supply became inadequate to supply the increasing demand, the Stony 
Point Water Company was incorporated, which was in 1892, and addi- 
tional works were constructed on Cedar Pond Creek, in the town of 
Stony Point, by which means the incor|x>rated village of Stony Point 
and the fire district of Grassy Point were also supplied, and a connection 
made through the brickyard district with Haverstraw village. In 1901 
the works were enlarged by the construction of two more reservoirs, 
■with a capacity of three million gallons, and by the installation of new 
piimping machinery at Stony Point. The present facilities of the com- 
pany, with three plants combined in one, will be sufficient for some years 
to come. 

In 1901 the three companies aforementioned went into the hands 
of John B. Reynolds, president of the American Equipment Company, 
of New York, as receiver. A reorganigation committee representative 
of the bond-holders and headed by Colonel H. A. Y. Post of New York 
city, formulated the plan by which the three corporations were, on April 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 303 

9, 1902, coiisolidated in one, and named the Haverstraw Water Supply 
Company. The three systems were all constructed by John Lockwood 
& Son, who continued to manage the business by reason of owning a 
majority of the stock, until the appointment of the receiver, following 
the failure of the old companies to pay the interest on their bonds. 
Receiver Reynolds was elected president of the new company and Mar- 
tin A. Driscoll superintendent. 

The company now has in ser\'ice a pumping station \vith four reser- 
voirs at Stony Point, besides one reservoir at Theill's that is supplied by 
springs. The pumping plant consists of one Worthington steam pump 
capable of discharging 1,500,000 gallons a day and a turbine (water 
power) pump with a capacity of 1,000,000 gallons a day. The steam 
pump is used only in dry seasons, or when there is a scarcity of water. 
Two of the reservoirs at Stony Point have an elevation of 260 feet above 
the river. The force of water in Haverstraw village is such that no fire 
engines are required. A ten-inch main, two miles in length, extending 
from Stony Point to Haverstraw and connecting all the systems, was 
laid in 1901. The total length of mains is twenty miles. 

WHEN THE WEST SHORE RAILROAD CAME. 

With the opening of the West Shore Railroad to travel, in 1883, 
a distinct era of progress began for the Haverstraw villages. Within 
a few years a number of new streets were laid out through the western 
part of the village, and many dwellings, handsome and spacious, were 
built thereon. Eairmount avenue, extending from West street to the 
railroad, a distance of 1190 feet, was dedicated to the village by Cath- 
erine Ann Hedges, and accepted by the Trustees in August, 1883. New 
Main street having been opened through lands of Clarence R. Conger, 
George S. Sherwood and William Sherwood, was conveyed to the village 
and accepted by the Tmstees in 1885. The New Jereey and New York 
railroad was extended from Garnerville to its present terminus at Main 
street in 1887. On June 4th, 1889, C. R. Conger and wife presented to 
the Trustees an agi-eement dedicating the following streets to the vil- 
lage: First, that portion of Tor avenue which extends from the west 
erly line of West street, or Broadway, to the easterly line of Hudson 
avenue, the same being 908 feet in length and 50 in \vidtli. Sccoiul, 
that portion of Hudson avenue which lies between the northerly portion 



304 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

of Tor avenue and tlie lands of the said parties of tlie first part and the 
lands of Emily DeKoyelles, the same being 1,916 feet in length by CO in 
width. Third, a portion of Clove avenue that lies between the northerly 
side of Main street and the southerly side of Broad, the same being 240 
feet in length and 50 in width. Fourth, the southerly half or portion 
of a street called West Broad street, to the easterly line of Hudson 
avenue. On the same date James Eckerson and J. Esler Eckcrson ded- 
icated the northerly half of a portion of West Broad street. William 
McCauley offered to convey to the village those portions of Hudson ave- 
nue, Shaqje and Prospect streets which ran over the respective prop- 
erties of Mrs. Emily DeXoyelles and Mrs. Elizabeth R. Doncourt. All 
these thoroiighfares were accepted by the village. 

Building operations were brisk during these years. In 189G the 
Xational Bank erected a new building, and in 1900 the new People's 
Bank building was completed. 

The telephone came in 1884, when the Westchester Telephone Com- 
pany received permission to erect and maintain poles and wires for a 
system in connection with siirrounding villages. 

The first Police Justice, William P. Banigan, was elected in 1886, 
and the salaiy of the officer fixed at $500 a year. A noteworthy contri- 
bution to the public welfare was made in 1886, whenlMr. William Ben- 
nett spread five hundred loads of gravel on Broadway at his o^\na expense. 
Portions of Division and Liberty streets and Allison avenue were dis- 
continued, and a street opened by John Derbyshire on his own property 
was accepted by the Tiiistees, in 1887. First street south of Canal was 
discontinued in May, 1888. Following the election of Mr. Charles 11. 
Zundel to the Presidency of the Village Corporation, in 1890, many 
improvements to sidewalks were made. 

ELECTEIC LIGHT. 

John Lockwood and his associates, in August, 1887, were the first to 
make lapplication for pennission to install an electric light and power 
plant in the village. They received a franchise limited to a term of five 
yeai-s, on condition that they should furnish free of charge for one year 
five incandescent lamps for Main street. When more than a year had 
passed without Lockwood & Co. making a ^^sible attempt to establish 
an electric system, the franchise was \\^thdra^^^l (October 9, 1888) by 




JOHN W. FURMAN. 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 305 

the Trustees from Lockwood & Co. and granted to tlie Electric Light 
and Supply Company. This company also failing to produce I'esults, 
Irving BrowTi and associates, in March, 1889, petitioned for permission 
to install an electric plant. William P. Bannigan also asked for permis- 
sion to introduce electricity. But the Trustees granted no franchise at 
that time, and in July, 1890, a request fi'om the Fort Wayne Electric 
Comi>any for a franchise was also tabled. In December, 1890, a com- 
mittee of four Trustees was appointed to ascertain particulars relating 
to the cost of introducing an electric light system, which residted in the 
appearance before the Board on January 20, 1891, of Benjamin B. 
Odcll, Jr., of Xewburgh, to ask the exclusive right and franchise for an 
electric light and power company. At the same meeting the N. Y. & N. 
J. Globe Gaslight Company made application for a franchise for a light- 
ing system. The taxpayers at a si>ecial election in ]\Iarch indicated their 
preference for electric rather than gasoline lights, and in due time an 
electric system was installed by the company represented by Mr. Odell. 

The o^vnership of the gas works, originally a co-partnership, changed 
hands several times until 1894, when the present Haverstraw Light and 
Fuel Gas Company was formed. Alexander Forhman of ISTew York 
was president and his son secretary and treasurer. These gentlemen 
disposed of their interests in 1899, and Henry Hahn of Havei-straw 
was elected president, Mr. Constant of Xew York secretary and treas- 
urer and Mr. Widenmann managing director. The plant was then much 
enlarged, and in 1902 was extended to West Havei-straw and Garner- 
ville. The generating works are situated on Clove and Tor avenues. 
Gas is furnished for light, fuel and power. 

The new house for General Warren Company was finished in 
December, 1883; Union Engine Company 'No. 2 was disbanded by order 
of the Trustees, for disorderly conduct, April 8, 1884. A new hook and 
ladder truck was received and accepted in June, 1887; it was built by 
Gleason & Bailey and cost $1,000. The annual report of the Chief 
Engineer, William Bonnett, for 1888, exhibited the condition of the 
Fire Department at that period: The membership consisted of four 
engineers and one hundred and three firemen. There was one hook and 
ladder truck, two hose carnages — Triumph ISTo. 1 and General Wan-en 
No. 2 — one steamer, 3 two-wheeled hose carts, one two-wheeled cart 
for carrying fire extinguidiers, and attached to Rescue H. & L. Com- 



306 HISTORY OF KOCKLAND COUNTY. 

pany, one hand engine in reserve, with no company, thirteen hundred 
feet of hose and forty-five hydrants. The Chief recommended that the 
steamer be disposed of and a new hose carriage procured for the com- 
pany then attached to the steamer, and that the property in Division 
street be sold and a new house built for the company now occupying the 
old house. Acting on the advice of the Chief, the services of an engi- 
neer for the steamer were dispensed with by order of the Trustees, in 
April. The water pressure and supply from the water works being 
adequate in all parts of the village, the steamer was no longer needed. 
The property in Division street was sold August 10, 1888, to John "W. 
Gillies for $1,150, and in April of the following year a lot on Broadway, 
for a new fire hoiise, was purchased Irom George S. Shenvood for $1,000. 

Town and village ofiScers in 1902 are as follows: Town — Super- 
■visor, Josiah Felter; Clerk, William Y. Cleary; Ovei-seer of the Poor, 
L. W. Sen^en; Collector, G. "W. ilitch; Assessors, D. Farley, J. Lynch, 
George Mardorf ; Justices, L. J. Miu-ray, Cyrillus Myers, James Hartt, 
B. J. McGovern. Village of Haverstraw — President, Charles H. Zun- 
del; Trustees, Thomas Lynch, Ix)uis Cohn, William H. Bennett, Henry 
Furman, Charles D. Archer, Frederick J. Keiser; Clerk, Henrj' Dorl; 
Collector, Charles Fre^-fogle; Street Commissioner, William Benson; 
Treasurer, Liike SegTiff; Assessors, Thomas Rowan, James Goiu-ley, 
William Bacon; Members of Board of Education, Alonzo ^Tieeler, 
president; Heniw F. Dorl, George C. Felter, James Hartt, Wilson P. 
Foss, William E. Pitts, Charles H. Zundel, Thomas Kowan, Everett 
Fowler, Members of the Board of Health, John E. Lynch, Frederick 
Bonnett, Charles S. Sloat. Village of West Haverstraw — President, 
Dr. John M. Hasbrouck; Clerk, Bernard J. McGovem; Collector, 
George H. Girling; Treasurer, George H. Taylor; John Oldfield, Daniel 
Farley, Trustees. 

Presidents of Haverstraw Village since incorporation: 1854-5, 
Edward Pye; 1856, Cornelius P. Hoffman; 1S57, John I. Cole; 
lS58-'65, John L. DeXoyelles; 1866, Joseph Cosgrove; 1867-9, John 
L. DeXoyelles; 1870, Harrison Felter; 1871-4, Richard A. VerValen; 
1875-6, James Osbom; 1877-8, John L. DeXoyelles; 1879-'81, James 
Osbom; 1882-4, R. A. VerValen; 1885-9, Rodney W. Milburn; 
1890-5, Charles Zundel; 1896, Joseph Snedeker; 1897-9, William Ben- 
nett,; 1900-1, Alonzo Bedell; 1902, Charles H. Zundel. 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 307 



BEICK MAKING. 



"Go to, let us make brick and bum them thoroughly," said the 
ancieuts in the land of Shinar, 2247 B. C. Bricks have been employed 
in the execution of many undertakings since the eariiest times. The 
Tower of Babel, the walls of Babylon, the palaces of Xebuchadnezzar 
were built of brick. The development of the art. of brick-making was 
for thousands of years slow and imcertain. In modern times machinery 
is doing much to lighten labor, but in all ages the work required to make 
brick has been of the hardest kind. The old manual method destroyed 
many a man in the piime of life. The c\istom, recently revived, of 
impressing upon brick the name of the manufactm'er, has come down 
from the time of Xebuchadnezzar. "Knowledge of the art of brick-mak- 
ing probably at no time became extinct in the East, but after the fourth 
century, in sympathy with the decline of all other arts, and the dying- 
Roman civilization, the knowledge of this art gTadually expired, and 
was lost to Western Europe," says our authority. It was under Gov- 
ernor Van Twiller of N^ew Amsterdam that the first brick buildings 
were erected in this coimtry, and ^vith brick brought from Holland. The 
Dutch succeeded well in making a strong and very dui-able quality of 
brick. Brick work became common in this country in the early part, of 
the eighteenth century, and until the Revolution stopped foreign com- 
merce for America, bricks were mostly imported from England and Hol- 
land. Vessels sailing with light cargoes from those countries finished 
out with bricks rather than with stone ballast. The brick they could sell 
at a moderate price, the stone they woiild have had to cast overboard 
before receiving their heavy return cargoes. Though there was little 
inducement to produce bricks in tliis country previous to the war, still 
bricks were manufactured in Haverstraw before that crisis arrived. The 
quality of the first brick produced in America compared unfavorably 
even with the conmion brick of Dutch and English manufacture, bvit 
at the present time the American made brick stands imequalled through- 
out the world. The inventive genius of our people, encouraged and pro- 
tected by the United States patent system, has in this line as in others 
carried them to the front. 

Deposits of brick clay extend along both sides of the river almost 
continuously from Haverstraw and Sing Sing to Albany. Tliere arc 
isolated patches farther south, but these arc not of great extent. There 



308 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

is no clay in the Iliglilands nor in the section between New Hamburgh 
and Staatsbiirgh. Two kinds of cLiy are fonnd along the river, the blue 
and the yellow; the former always underlies the other and occasionally 
they shade into each other or are interstratified. They are generally 
situated so as to afford the greatest case and economy of working and of 
shipping the manufactured product. At Haverstraw the clay is obtained 
from the sixty-feet ten-ace while the one-hundred feet terrace is com- 
posed of glacial, drift and delta material. There is clay underlying the 
whole village, with the exception of the parts Avest of the small stream 
that runs throiigh the center. When the demand for building bricks 
had increased so as to warrant their manufacture on a large scale, and 
when large deposits of clay were found at Haverstraw, this village nat- 
urally became a large manufacturing center, and has since continued 
to be the largest producer of any district supplying the New York mar- 
ket The method of manufacturing has been revolutionized more than 
once by improvements made in Haverstraw. 

The first brick manufacturer of Havei-straw was Jacob VanDyke, a 
Hollander, who began operations in 1771, when the then Haverstraw 
village was a mere cluster of houses at Kiers' dock. His brickyard was 
situated at Durner Point, on the DeNoycllcs property, where the coffer 
dam now is. He made his bricks by hand, after the old Dutch method 
and without the aid of machinery of any kind. His clay was tempered 
by oxen walking through it. The Holland fashion was to make a brick 
that was thinner and wider than the modern American brick. "We also 
use more sand now; then the brick was mostly all clay. Van Dyke 
employed but sixteen men. His bricks were shipped on sailing vessels 
having a capacity of five or ten thousand each. Some of the barges now 
employed carry a hundred thousand. The war put an end to Mv. Van 
Dyke's business and he and his sons enlisted in the Continental anny 
and no further account of them can be given. 

The next to make bricks in Haverstraw was James Wood, who has 
been termed the father of the brick industry here. Bom in England, 
in 1773, where he became a brick-maker, he came to this village in 
1815. His first yard here was on Fainnount avenue, in the hollow 
south of ilain street. He carted his bricks in wagons to the boat. The 
method of manufacture was still crude when he began here, but in the 
course of time he introduced several important improvements. The first 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 309 

was a mold having a bottom and a vent. Another was a contrivance for 
tempering the clay that dispensed with oxen and with spading by hand. 
But his most notable discovery was the efficacy of coal dust in combi- 
nation witli clay. He was the first to mix coal dust with clay with the 
result of making a far better brick than had ever been made before, and 
making it in one half the time previously required. This invention 
marked the greatest advance ever made in this industry. Since then 
we have had bricks of regular shape, with parallel surfaces, plane 
faces, sharj) edges and angles and that ring when struck a sharp blow 
with a hammer. 

From the inland situation Mr. "Wood moved his business after some 
years to the river-front, and his was the first yard established on the 
beach — after Van Dyke's. It was nearly on the site of the present Den- 
ton Fowler & Son's yard. John D. Gardner was the second brick-maker 
on the riverside; his yard was at or near Kiers' old landing. Peter 
Eeilly was another early starter; his yard is now known as Daniel 
DeNoyelles', and situated south of the village. 

The first crude brick machine that was made in this country was 
invented in 1835 by Samuel Adams, who died at Cornwall, IST. Y. The 
machine was simply a hand molder, but he afterwards, about 1840, 
invented a power machine. Mr. Adams was also the first to invent and 
use an iron tempering wheel. The model of his brick machine may 
still be seen in the U. S. Patent Office. The leading type of the 
machines now used at Haverstraw and vicinity is known as the Vervalen 
machine. Richard A. VerValen of Haverstraw, was the original inven- 
tor and builder. In the year 1853, wlien brick-making had attained 
large proportions, Mr. VerValen supplied the one thing lacking, the 
modem brick machine. The object of this invention was to fill the 
moulds more rapidly than could be done by hand, to press the material 
into the moulds with greater power and in a stifFer condition than could 
be done by hand, but not to produce a pressed brick. 

The proportion of sand used varies according to the quality of the 
clay and the relative proportion in which the two are found in the bank. 
It may be taken on the average as one-third sand and two-thirds clay. 
The Haverstraw sand is of excellent quality, and more tlian the clay 
gives the bricks of this locality their peculiar character. Wlien molded 
they are drawn out and laid on the flat, and when sufficiently dry they 



310 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

are edged up, then "spatted" or tapped with a flat board, to give them 
a clear edge, then "hacked up." When dry enough, that is, in one or 
three days, according to the weather, they are built up in "arches," con- 
taining from 28,000 to 35,000 each. Five, ten or more arches are built 
up continuously, so as to form a solid mass, which when fully prepared 
for bui-ning is called a kiln. This system of bviming is pursued rather 
than with permanent kilns, on account of the gi-eater number of bricks 
that can be burned in a given space. A Havei-straw yard containing 
only two hundred feet frontage can thus make from five to six million 
bricks in a season of one hundred and fifty working days. About half 
the kilns in Haverstraw are burnt with wood, one with oil, the rest 
with coal. 

Moulding is carried on in the early hours of the day, the rest of the 
time being spent in "hacking up," etc. The machines turn out in ordi- 
nary woi'king ten moulds or sixty bricks per minute, or eighteen to 
twenty thousand per forenoon. They require the following plant and 
help per hachine: twenty-five moulds, for trucks and eight men. A 
machine turning eighteen thousand a day requires eight horse-i^ower 
high pressure. The standard of full work is to tiu-n out one thousand 
brick per day for every soul employed, from the time the clay is dug till 
the bricks are on the vessel. Thus, an establishment employing forty 
hands should turn out forty thousand a day. The total number of men 
employed in a yard is reckoned at fifteen for every machine. A two- 
machine yard rcqiiires a strip of laud 180 feet ^vide by 475 feet long. 
Clay lands on the river front are worth at least $10,000 an acre without 
any improvements. The Excelsior Brick Company paid $75,000 for six 
acres. To put a two-machine yard in condition for renting costs $10,000. 
What the tenant must put on it is worth $4,000 per machine. The run- 
ning capital required is not less than $4,000. 

The most noteworthy recent departure from long established pro- 
cedure consists in obtaining clay from the river by dredging. Four 
yards now get their clay from dredging companies, paying eight cents 
a cubic yard. The dredge scoops the clay ivp from the bottom of the 
river and dumps it into cars that are carried on floats. When the cars 
are all filled the floats are towed to the wharf, and then the cai*s are run 
from the floats to a trestle in the brickyard, where the clay is discharged. 
One large dredge is able to get out sufficient clay for twenty yards. The 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 31t 

clay in the river-bed is two hundred feet deep, and is of good quality, 
better than up-land clay. T. G. & G. II. Peck have dispensed with 
horses for taking clay out of the bank and use a tramway instead. Rowan 
& Scott use oil instead of coal or wood for burning their kiln. The pro- 
duct of the Haverstraw yards is nearly all shipped by river, the remain- 
der by rail. The river transportation is mostly with barges. The follow- 
ing is a list of the brick-makers in the Haverstraw district, together \vith 
the nrmiber of machines, number of bricks made in a season, and giving 
the name of the owner of the real estate. Beginning at the south: 
Brdckauakeirs. Owners 'of Re(al Estate. No. of Product in No. o(f 

MaJdhinjes. MUIioms. Barges. 

Thomias Malley, D. DeNoyelles & Co 7 13 1 

M. Bennett & Son, D. DeNoyeOles & Go 5 10 2 

D. Noyelles & Co., D. Noyeaies & Co 3 6 1 

John & Tthos. Lynch, D. Noyelleis & Co 5 10 2 

D. Fowler & Son, D. Fowler & Son 5 12 2 

ExeelsiioT Brick Company, Excelsiior Brick Oo 6 13 3 

O'Brien & Ndohiolson, J. Esler Eckerson 2 4 1 

Andrew DonneUy, J. W. GiUies & Co 3 6 1 

Gormley & Co., J. Esler Eckerson 2 4 1 

Nicholson & O'Brien, .T. Esler Eckerson 2 4 1 

P. Goldrick, J. E. Eckerson and Est. A. M. Aroher 4 8 2 

M. Waldron & Co., J. Esler Eckerson 3 4 1 

Snedeker Bros., Snedeker Bros 2 4 1 

T. G. & G. H. Peck, T. G. & G. H. Peck 6 10 2 

T. G. & G. H. Peck & Co., T. G. & G. H. Peck 6 10 1 

Edward Renn, Estate of A. M. Archer 4 8 1 

B. J. Allison & Co., B. J. Allison 6 12 1 

Bowan & Sooitt, Caltherine Sodtt 8 12 2 

Allison & Wood, B. J. Allison 3 6 3 

Wood & AlMson, B. J. Allision 3 6 3 

Frank Grimes, Haverstraw Clay & Brick Co 4 9 1 

Heitling-er & Co., Haverstraw Olay & Brick Co... 4 9 1 

D. Fovrler, Jr., & Co., Havers'w Clay & Brick Oo. 5 10 2 

McGuire & Lynch, Havers'w Clay & Brick Co 4 8 2 

Terrenice McGuire, Ha.versitraw Clay & Brick Co.. 4 8 1 

Warrell & Byrnes, Wasihbum, Fowler & Oo 3 6 1 

Washburn Bros., Washburn, Fowler & Co 3 6 1 

Washburn, Fowler & Co., Washburn, Fowler & Oo. 12 25 4 

Patrick Briophy, F. P. & G. C. Felter 3 6 l 

Morrissey & Co., Heirs of Adam Ldilburn 3 6 1 

Morrissey Bros, Heirs of Adam Lilburn 3 1 

Riley & Rosie, Watson Tomkins 4 10 1 

Riley & Cliark, Watson Tomkins 5 10 1 

Oahil, Carroll & Co., Heirs of A. Lilburn 4 10 1 

Frank L. Dunigian. Heirs of A. Lilburn 5 12 1 

Fowler & Wasihbum, Fofwler & WaJshburn 5 12 2 

Th'os. Shankey & Son, Mrs. A. B. Beid 4 8 1 

J. W. Felter (at Theills), Heirs of E. W. Christie 2 4 



312 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

HAVERSTRAW PUBLIC SCHOOL. 

District Number One. 

Tho first public school building in this district of which we have any 
information, was built in 1810 on the lot on Fourth street, opposite the 
Methodist Episcopal church. It was a red frame building of two stories 
and nearly as large as the brick building now on that lot. It was the cus- 
tom in this state at that time and for years afterwards to call a two story 
school house an academy, and this biiilding and also its brick successor 
were dig-nified by the name of "The Academy." The second story only 
was at first used for school purposes, the first story being occupied by the 
teacher as a residence, or sometimes rented. The first teacher in this 
building was an Irishman named Quinn, who remained several years and 
man-ied one of his pupils, a Miss Wandell, daughter of Daniel Wandell, 
the last survivor of the witnesses of the execution of Major Andre. The 
names of Mr. Quinn's immediate successors have not been ascertained. 
Some years later the school was taught by a Mr. Felch, the father of a 
well known Methodist Episcopal preacher named Isaac N. Felch, who 
was pastor of the Haverstraw church in 1835 and 1836. 

About 1828 the school was taught by another Irishman named 
Doyle, who was fond of his cups and also a great disciplinarian, if flog- 
ging can be called discipline. At the close of his term he had a "settle- 
ment" with his boys, by flogging them all around. Mr. H. B. McKenzie, 
then a pupil in his seventh year, was thro^vn over the stairs by an older 
boy to escape punishment, and giving notice of what the teacher was 
doing, some of tJie citizens interfered and put a stop to Mi*. Doyle's 
"settlement." 

Zetus Searles was successor of Doyle. He was a local preacher from 
Patcrson, a kind man and a good teacher. Luther D. Abbott followed 
him, who was also a good teacher. He married Miss Maria Cosgrove, 
daiighter of Christopher Cosgrove, about 1830, and resided in this vil- 
lage five years, but was not teaching all that time. His wife was an elder 
sister of Mrs. Henrietta Holmes, who is still (1902) living in Haverstraw, 
at an advanced age. In 1831 Mr. Laban and his son Jacob managed 
the school. The day on which school opened Mr. Laban was very pleas- 
ant and polite to his new pupils and simply took their names and dis- 
missed them, but the next day he wore a sterner aspect, and pointed to a 
cat-o'-nine-tails hanging over the door. Mr. L. was, however, a good 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 313 

teacher and not unnecessarily severe. He was succeeded by Mr. Cran- 
mer, wlio was a superior mathematician and published an almanac of his 
own calculation. Samuel Hay then taught the school for a short time. 
He was not related to the Hay family of Revolutionary fame. He was 
followed by Charles Smith, a bachelor and brother of Wm. Eugene 
Smith, who kept the Union Hotel on Main street, now a part of Mr. L. 
D. West's saloon, and was related to the Smith family, whose history is 
connected with Haverstraw's earlier days. In 1835, Mr. Ebenezer Mc- 
Kenzie, father of Mr. H. B. McKenzie, resided in the fii-st story of the 
Academy and used one comer as a shoemaker shop. In this year Mr. 
David B. Loomis took charge of the school. He was a scholar and a su- 
perior teacher, and is well spoken of by the older citizens of Haverstraw, 
who were his pupils. He was a strict disciplinarian and had a knack of 
throwing a ruler past the head of a disorderly pupil without hitting him. 

The wooden Academy built in 1810, which had served its pui"pose 
well and was likely to last many more years, was burned in 1846. In 
the cold weather of January 21st, the box stove was crammed with wood 
to keep fire over night, which probably was the cause of the firing of the 
school house; a deep snow on the ground and the lack of fire apparatus 
rendered its destruction complete. At this time the school used the first 
and second floors; above these was a commodious attic which was used as 
a lodge room by the Odd Fellows. Some of the school boys, who had 
heard wonderful accounts of the performances of the Odd Fellows' goal, 
gathered in front of the church to get a sight of the animal when driven 
out by the flames, but, much to their disappointment, the goat did not 
appear and probably perished in the conflagration Avith the other para- 
phernalia of the secret society. What is now the middle part of the 
Oldfield dwelling, south of the school, was a red building, and was saved 
from the flames by hanging wet cai-pcts ag'ainst it and by a constant fire 
of snowballs sent by the crowd of men and boys. 

On February 2nd following, a District School meeting voted to raise 
$1300 for a new Academy. To many this sum seemed extravagant and 
a meeting was called in March with a view of annulling this vote, but 
was unsuccessful, and the substantial brick Academy (now used as Town 
and Village Hall) was erected on the same lot and at the time of its erec- 
tion was sufiiciently commodious and well adapt<?d for its purpose. While 



314 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

this was building, the school was held in a wooden building on Front 
street, which now forms a part of the elegant residence of the late Gen. 
I. M. Hedges. 

Mr. David B. Loomis continued to teaeli in the new Academy till 
184S, when he resigned and carried on a private school in the village for 
several years. He then removed to Sullivan county and later to Rich- 
mond, Indiana, where, after losing all his family, he died at an ad- 
vanced age. 

Mr. Abram DcBaun, a grad^iate of the State Normal School, suc- 
ceeded Mr. Loomis and taught nearly four years. He was a member of 
an old Rockland comity family and niamed Miss Jane Fowler. His 
daughtei-s, Mrs. Ruth Milbum and Mrs. Anna Foss, still reside in the 
village. As a teacher he was very successful. On leaving the school he 
engaged in the coal and lumber business. He had a very fine voice and 
musical talent and took an active part as a singer in the Fremont cam- 
paign in 1856. He died while on a visit to Kansas in 1858, at an early 
age, universally esteemed and lamented. 

In 1852 the school was placed under the charge of Mr. Jirah I. 
Foote, who was also a graduate of the State Xoiinal School. He had 
taiight previously at the "Street" school near New City and at Tomkins 
Cove. Mr. Foote's rule lasted two and a half years; he was a thorough 
teacher and a quiet and successful disciplinarian. While teaching in 
Middletown, Orange county, in 1858, he was solicited to return to Ilav- 
erstraw, but the Middletown trustees raised his salary and refused to re- 
lease him. His principal assistant in the academy was Miss Sarah Per- 
due, daughter of Dr. Perdue and later the wife of Rev. R. B. Yard. 

During the four years between 1854 and 1858 the school was taught 
first by Mr. Sheldon and then by Rev. ^Ir. St. John, who had been the 
last pastor of the Methodist Protestant church. 

On April 19, 1858, Mr. L. Wilson became principal of the school. 
When Mr. Foote, as has been said above, declined the position, he sent 
Mr. Wilson to fill the place. Under ilr. Wilson the school increased 
in numbers till all the rooms of the Academy were filled and four assist- 
ants became necessary. Mr. Wilson, in July, 18fiO, married one of his 
assistants, Miss Sarah E. DeRonde, and, on October 15tli of that year, re- 
signed his position. 




'T'-;^;^^^^" 



LUTHER O. MARKHAM. 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 315 

Eev. Richard S. Ammennan, a IMotliodist preacher, had charge of 
the school from October 17, ISfiO, till March 14, 1862. He was suc- 
ceeded by Mr. George Secor, who remained till 1863, except a brief 
period when he left the school in charge of Mr. Richard L. Giirnee. Mr. 
Secor was a finn disciplinarian, but was well liked by his pupils. 

Mr. J. O. Austin followed and remained till the latter part of 1871. 
He was as successful as circumstances permitted. The crowded condition 
of the school was not favorable to good discipline or good insti-uction. 
His principal assistant was Miss Lydia Hanson, from Maine, who, much 
to the regret of her attached pupils, resigned in 1868 to become the help- 
meet of Mr. Silas G. Mackey. 

During Mr. Austin's regime the school overflowed and rooms were 
hired in the Gordon house and other private dwellings, and assistant 
teachers hastily engaged. For many years the Catholics had carried on 
a parochial school, first in a school building erected for the purpose, on 
Ridge street, and later on in their old and disused church building. This 
school the Catholics abandoned in 1871 and its pupils overwhelmed the 
public school. To remedy this, the trustees hired the old Catholic church 
for a public school and placed Mr. Patrick Reilly in charge, and it passed 
by the name of the "Upper school." 

At the beginning of the year 1872 two gentlemen teachers were 
engaged, Mr. jST. P. Fisher and Mr. Luther O. Markham, graduates of 
the Albany Xormal School. Mr. Fisher was installed in the Academy 
and Mr. Markham in the "Upper school." 

With well qualified teachers and enlarged accommodations, a marked 
improvement followed, but it was at once evident that the above exi^e- 
dients could be but temporary and that permanent and improved school 
buildings were necessary, and after several years agitation and several 
preliminary meetings a school meeting was held March 9, 1883, when 
it was voted to build a new school house, and the site on the corner of 
Hudson and Fairmount avenues was selected and $20,000 voted, of 
which $3,000 was to be raised immediately and the remainder on bonds. 
The trustees, Messrs. H. W. Babcock, Leonard Cooper and Terrence Ma- 
guire, with Messrs. IL N. Wood, G. J. Allison, Hannon Folter, S. G. 
Mackey and John Cleary were appointed a building committee and work 
immediately commenced. 



316 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

The south part of the present building was ready for occupancy in 
1884, and school was opened in September of that year, Mr. L. 0. Mark- 
ham being appointed principal, Mr. Fisher retiring. Mr. Fisher, after 
teaching acceptably in otlier schools in the county, obtained a permanent 
position in the New York Custom House. He resides in Nyack, N. Y. 

In the year 1859, while Mr. Wilson was in charge, the need of in- 
struction for colored children, who wei'e growing up in ignorance, was 
manifest. Occasionally one tried to get into the public school, but was 
unwelcome, the inflamed condition of public sentiment, before the Civil 
war, in regard to slavery and the race question, prevented peaceful com- 
mingling. A separate school for colored children was therefore opened 
in the Zion cliurch on Clinton street, under the charge of a colored lady, 
and this aiTangvuient continued with slight interruptions until the new 
school was opened, when the colored school was transfen-ed to the old 
Academy and a white lady placed in charge. 

The improved condition of the new public school on Hudson avenue 
drew pupils away from the private schools, of which there had been a 
number in the village. These pupils and those added by the rapid 
growth of the population, soon showed that even in its new quarters the 
school was becoming crowded, and August 15, 1894, it was voted to 
build an addition on the north end. The STun of $12,500 was voted and 
the new building Avas ready for use in September, 1895. A large assem- 
bly room occupied the top floor of this addition. The middle floor con- 
tained five class rooms and the principal's room, and the ground floor the 
furnace room and commodious quarters for the colored school. 

Most of the assistant teachers were Normal graduates, and the school 
continued to grow and flourish. The school had been hitherto carried on 
under the general common school system, but by a vote of the district 
in Febniary, 1897, its government was changed into that of the Union 
Free School system under a Board of Education of nine trustees. Hon. 
Alonzo Wheeler was chosen President of this Eoard and still (in 1902) 
continues in this position. Mr. Markham was elected Superintendent 
and the High School department added under the Board of Regents of 
the University, by which the school became entitled to additional public 
moneys from the State and enlargement of its library and apparatus. 

The compulsory attendance law, popularly called the Truant law, 
though enacted some years previously, had not been thoroughly enforced, 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 317 

owing to lack of scliool accommodations, but the new Board gave the 
matter attention, and in June, 1897, its committee reported that the hiw 
was effective, that the children subject to its provisions were attending 
school with a fair degree of regularity. The effect of this excellent law 
was to increase largely the school attendance, and to ci'owd the rooms of 
the new building. It was found that the children of the colored school, 
conducted as it was by only one teacher, were not given the advantages 
to which they were entitled, and also that the rooms they occupied with 
their small numbers, rendered their instruction \mnecessarily expensive. 
Thereiipon, on September 0th, 1807, the Superintendent was authorized 
to distribute the colored children through the school according to their 
respective attainments; this was done by Mr. Markham ^vith so much 
tact that no friction or dissatisfaction arose. The colored children were 
kindly received by their white associates and their successes in the public 
exercises were warmly applaiuled. The color line was abolished, show- 
ing that "The world moves." 

The commodious rooms which the colored school "had iised were at 
onoe occupied by the Kindergarten, for which they were exactly suited. 
This interesting branch of the school had been for many years conducted 
successfully by Miss Mary Ann Kedmond and is still imder her charge. 

Mr. Markham, the principal and Superintendent, is in 1902 teaching 
his thirty-first successive year in this school, a length of service which 
has had few, if any, parallels. He has always been popular with his asso- 
ciate teiachers and his pupils, is remarkably tactful and successful as an 
organizer and as a quiet disciplinarian, and the whole of his administra- 
tion has been free from any turmoil or disturbance. The Regents' exam- 
inations show that the scholarship is Avell sustained. The ground floor of 
the entire building, except the furnace room, is used by the Primary de- 
partment. It has aji assembly room, used for general exercises, for teach- 
ing music and as a play room, and four other rooms, including the Kin- 
dergarten, used for teaching number work, writing and reading. About 
250 children are generally found on this floor, where they remain about 
a year and a half. They are divided into four classes, each taking its 
turn every half day in the Kindergarten and other rooms. Eeading is 
taught by the Pollard synthetic system. This system, using diacritical 
marks from the very beginning, is found, in comparison with other sys- 
tems tried, to save to each child from one to two ycai-s in learning to read. 



318 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Miss Lizzie Gormley, who has had charge of the Primary reading depart- 
ment for twenty-five years, has been remarkably successful in the appli- 
cation of this system. 

Judged by the official standards the school as a whole ranks very 
high. The High School claims tlie ability to prepare pupils for admis- 
sion to college and from it students have gone to Cornell, l^ew York Uni- 
versity, Columbia, Syracuse University, Elmira Female College, Vassar 
College and to the State l^ormal schools. The school has twenty-one 
teachers, all ladies except the Principal. At the opening of the school 
year in the fall of 1902, an additional gentleman teacher is to be en- 
gaged and an entire business course is to be introduced, which will cover 
four years. It will include Advanced Bookkeeping, Business Methods, 
Stenography and Typevrriting. The successful completion of this course 
will entitle the student to a State Inisiness or stenographic diploma. 

PUBLIC LIBRARY. 

Since 1896 the King's Daughters Society of Haverstraw has main- 
tained a circulating lilirary that has become one of the most prized insti- 
tutions of the xdllage. The society itself was organized in 1891, and was 
first known as "The Haverstraw Ladies' Home Mission Circle." The 
foundation was laid by Miss Sarah Conger Robinson, who was chosen 
for the first president. In 1894 the society, upon the sviggestion of Mrs. 
W. A. Speck, was expanded into a large charitable organization, and 
Mrs. Speck was elected President. At a special meeting of the Exec- 
utive Board on July 8, 1895, the president, Mrs. Everett Fowler, pre- 
sented a plan for founding a public library as a department of the soci- 
ety's work that was carried into effect. A fair was held in the fall in 
aid of the new institution. The first board of library trustees, elected 
in October, was composed of Mrs. Everett Fowler, Mrs. Ira M. Hedges, 
Mrs. Irving Brown, Mrs. W. A. Masker, Mrs. Charles Zundel. The 
library was then incorporated and admitted by the Regents to the Uni- 
versity of the State of New York. First located in Jenkin's Hall, it was 
opened to the public Febniary 14, 1896, wath 100 books on the shelves. 
Miss Mary' Van Orden was the first librarian. 

In May, 1896, at the regular annual meeting of the society, the con- 
stitution was so amended as to include the library. It was also provided 
in a separate paragraph that there should always be at least two male 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 319 

members ou the board and that these shoiild be chosen from the list of 
auxiliary members. In order to conform to the requirements of the con- 
stitution, the board of trustees then resigned and the following new 
board was elected: Mrs. Everett Fowler, Mi's. Ira M. Hedges, Mrs. W. 
A. Masker, Mrs. William H. Carr and Mr. W. A. Speck, the latter two 
being respectively treasurer and chairman, while Mrs. Hedges was 
secretary. 

In November, 189S, tlic library was moved to the old National Bank 
building. In Jiily, 1899, Mrs. Denton Fowler made a written propo- 
sition to pay into the hands of the trustees the sinn of ten thousand dol- 
lars for the purpose of buying land as a site, and erecting a building for 
the Kings' Daughters' Public Library, pro\'iding that the biiilding be 
named the "Fowler Library Building," and that the society supply an 
equal sum. The offer was accepted and a building site at the foot of 
Main street has been secured. Much of the actual work connected with 
establishing the library has been the contribution of Mr. W. A. Speck. 

CHUECHES. 

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. 

This was the first church society organized within the present bounds 
of the Town of Haverstraw and had its inception in the year 17S1. It 
was an offspring of the old English Prc!^b}i;erian Church at Kakiat, 
whitlior the Englisli speaking people of this vicinity had been accus- 
tomed to repair for public Avorship. A subscription paper pledging sup- 
port for the preaching of the Gospel here was signed by the following 
named: Peter Parker, Ebenezer Bishop, William Allison, Phcbe 
Osborn, Hannah Conkling, Richard Decklins, Lebbeua Knapp, Jacob 
Parker, Jacob Theill, Matthew Allison, Bcnjamii: Furman, Joseph Alli- 
son, Isaac Furman, Richard Cnim, George Marks, Daniel Wheeler, 
John Johnson, Thomas Ellison, John Johnston, Jr., Abraham Cooper, 
Benjamin Coe, Jacob Waldron, William Colley, Tobias Derunder, 
Joseph Coley, William Dennider, James Gamer, Cornelius Cooper, 
William Wiggins, Abraham Storms, Cornelius Bulson, Isaac Youmans, 
Gilbert Hunt, Nathaniel Brooks, Thomas Titt, David Springsted, Sam- 
uel Allison, Resolvert Springsted, John Phillips, David Springsted (2d), 
Derrick Acker, Edward Waldron, Henry Ten Eyck, Floms Crom, Jonas 
Knapp, Alexander Bulson, Henry Halsted, John Ten Eyck, Daniel 



320 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Phillips, Anthony Bulson, Eli Phillips, John Waldron, Gilbert Phillips, 
Job Eabcock, Conrate Kydei-, Thomas Dykins, Amos Ilutchins, Bairnt 
Van de Voort, Isaac Parker, Charles Mott, Jared EJnapp, Gilbert Wil- 
liams, Jacob KnifFen, Benjamin Allison, Aaron Erower, Peter Allison, 
John Briggs, Matthew Benson, John Eobcrts, Xoah Moot, John Conk- 
ling. This congTcgation heard the Word of God preached every third 
or fourth Sabbath by the Bev. Robert Burns, who was also the minister 
of the English Church at Kakiate, and it w-as designated simply as the 
"English Protestant Society of Haverstraw." The first trustees named 
on the records are Jacob Waldron, Amos Ilutchins and Peter Allison. 
Trustee Ilutchins had commanded a company in the Xew York line of 
the Continental army in the War for Independence. 

On the 17th of A^ignst, 1789, the congregation accepted from 
Thomas Smith (a brother of Joshua Hett Smith) the gift of a parcel of 
land "for the purpose of erecting a church or meeting house, and for a 
school house and burying-groimd," on condition that a pew in the 
church and a plot sixteen feet square in the grave-yard be resen'ed for 
Mr. Smith and his family. Jacob Waldron, Peter Allison and Ebcnczer 
Bishop were the trustees at that time, and they received the deed in 
behalf of the congregation. The meeting house was completed and ded- 
icated in 1700. It was such an edifice as conformed to the architectural 
standards of the period, and as the needs of the congregation required 
and their circumstances permitted, a plain but substantial stnicture about 
forty feet square. It stood on the croAvn of Calico Hill, by the side of 
the now long neglected burying- ground. 

For some years previous to the building of the church the Eev. Rob- 
ert Burns had confined his ministerial labors to this congregation exclu- 
sively, as he was now well stricken in years. Since 1775, the first year 
of the Revolution, he had resided near Mead's Comers on a fann of 100 
acres that he had purchased from Thomas Smith, and it was doubtless 
his presence as a permanent resident in the neighborhood that had been 
referred to as "a gracious interposition of divine providence," in pre- 
senting "an opportunity" for "planting the preached Gospel among us." 
The Revolution had been a trying time for chiirchcs, and ministers who 
then had farms to retire to and depend on for siipport were fortunate. 
Mr. Burns had a son, David, who was prominent in the public affairs 
of the town. When the church was dedicated the pastor was 84: years 



TOWN OP HAVERSTRAW. 321 

old; his very presence iu tlie pulpit was at once a benediction and an 
inspiration to holy living. The congregation grew under his ministry 
and the members were bound to him with cords of love and appreciation. 
Born in Scotland in 1706, the first fifty-foiu- years of his life were spent 
in his native land, and though but fifteen years in America when the war 
began, he at once championed the cause of civil and religious liberty, 
and through all the years of the conflict, when many around him fal- 
tered, he was a tower of strength to the patriots. lie was a gTand patri- 
archal figure in the pulpit, but was spared for only a year to preach in 
the new church. He died November 22, 1791, and was buried in the 
family plot near his dwelling. 

The death of the Eev. Robert Burns was a severe blow to the con- 
gregation, as many years passed ere the pulpit was again filled as he had 
filled it. With the exception of one year, 1797-8, when the Eev. Allen 
Blair was the settled minister for the Presbyterian churches at Kakiate 
and Haverstraw, these two churches were dependent on traveling min- 
isters until the Eev. Samuel Pelton came in 1S17, to take charge of both. 
He was installed on the 20th of February, at the age of 40, and took up 
his residence in the parsonage at Kakiate. He gave half his time to each 
church. From the Kakiate church he received an annual salary of $250 
and forty cords of wood, besides the use of the parsonage. From the 
Haverstraw church he probably received the equivalent. He was a man 
of force and exceptional abilities. Boi'n at Montgomery, Orange county, 
he early united vnih the Goodwill Church and was urged by his pastor 
to prepare for the ministry. He chose rather to take up the business of 
a fanner, and, maiTying, he took up land near Monticello in 1802 and 
settled there. Having an inclination toward religious work, he was 
largely instnnnental in planting and building up Presbyterianism in 
that coTinty. Four churches sprang up from his labors and his name has 
been handed down as that of the "father of Presbyterianism in Sullivan 
coimty." At last, in 1814, he was persuaded by his old pastor and othei-s 
to take up theological studies and qualify himself for the ministry. The 
way being opened before him, he was able with great zeal and a mature 
mind to quickly master the essentials he lacked, and in the fall of 1815 
he was licensed to preach. 

Mr. Pelton was an interesting and effective preacher, a devoted min- 
ister to the families in his charge. He greatly revived the congrega- 



322 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

lions, and at one commumon season, in the year 1821, 110 persons 
united with the church. The great debate in which he took part with a 
Methodist minister on a platform erected in front of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church of liaverstraw is well known history. Doctrinal distinc- 
tions were more emphasized in those days than now. The work that Mr. 
Pelton did in this community in the course of a ministry extending over 
twenty-three years cannot be adequately estimated in a few lines. His 
pastorate was a distinct era in the religious history of the town ; his mem- 
ory is still fragrant; the vines that he planted are still bearing fruit. A 
stroke of paralysis brought his ministry here to a close in the winter of 
1839-'40. With sadness people and pastor parted, and he retired to his 
fann near Monticello — but not to die. The hand of affliction was grad- 
ually lifted from him; the providential leadings were plain in his life. 
Many years, happy and useful, opened before him in the old home; he 
never became a pastor again, but did a large amount of Christian work 
and at times fillod vacant pulpits. Mr. Pelton had the companionship 
of his vdie until 1861, he followed her to the Monticello graveyard in 
1864, aged 87. 

By this time the congregation had outgrown the old meeting-house, 
and the members residing in the village wished to have a place of wor- 
ship nearer their homes. It was therefore resolved, in 1839, as a tem- 
porary expedient to have one service in the morning, at the old church, 
and another in the afternoon, at the village. When the Rev. James Hil- 
dreth began his ministry here, April 2, 1840, this was the plan followed. 
The village ser\dce was held in the church fonnerly used by the Meth- 
odist Protestants. Services in the old church on the hill were discon- 
tinued in 1847, the last on November 21st. Mr. Hildreth departed in 
1S48, while the present church edifice was in process of erection. The 
building site was the gift of Elisha Peck. Midway getween the spread- 
ing villages of Samsondale and Haverstraw, and supposedly on the line 
of progress, the location was at that time considered advantageous. The 
first pastor in the new church was the Rev. Livingston Willard, who 
remained but one year. Rev. James H. Trowbridge was ordained and 
installed November 27, 1850; resigned 1853. Rev. P. J. H. Myers, 
installed September 7, 1854; resigned December 30, 1859. Rev. Spen- 
cer Marsh, installed November 26, 1861; resigned 18G8. The minister 
that has been longest and best identified with the brick church is the 



/ 



.^an^r 




HENRY HAHN. 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 323 

Eev. James J. McMalion. In 1868, when Mr. McMahon was pastor 
of the Presbyt<?rian Church of Stony Point, an aiTangement was made 
by which the Haverstraw cliureli shouhl receive part of his attention. 
He preached his fli-st sennon in the brick church on the first Sabbath of 
September, and for thirty years continued to be the devoted pastor. In 
1875 he relinquished the charge of the Stony Point congregation. Ill 
health compelled Mr. McMahon to give up his ministerial labors in 
1898, when the Rev. B. F. Parliaman succeeded him. Mr. McMahon 
continued to reside on Prospect Hill. A few years of rest so restored 
his health that after the departure of Mr. Parliaman he agreed to a 
request that he should supply the pidpit, and is continuing in that 
relation. 

THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH. 

From the earliest times this chiu'ch has filled a prominent place in 
the community. It is not known at what date the vine was first planted, 
but at the dawn of the last century a society had been worshiping here 
for a number of years. When the dwellings in the village could yet be 
nimibered on the fingers of one hand, John B. Matthias formed a class 
of nine persons and preached unto them the Word of God. Mr. Mat- 
thias was a class leader from Tarrytown, and by vocation a ship-builder. 
He was a man of intellectual power, as well as deep conviction. As 
opportunity offered he formed classes in other places also, and united all 
into a circuit — the "Bergen circuit," he called it. Numl^ers were added 
to the sweet communion here under his ministration. Although he had 
now arrived at middle age, this good man was destined for a long career 
in the ministry'. In 1811 he was received into the traveling connection, 
and his work was not finished until May 27, 1848, when he departed 
this life, at Hempstead, L. I., in the eighty -second year of his age. 

In 1800 the Methodist meetings were being held at the residence of 
Peter DeNoyelles, who was a class leader. The time came when pro- 
vision should be made for a church edifice, and on the first of October, 
1806, the society accepted from William Smith, son of Thomas Smith, 
who was the brother of Joshua H. Smith, the tender of a site with the 
conditions that he attached. The situation was choice, though land 
values were then not high. The trustees who received the deed were 
Peter Dej^oyelles, Peter Allison and Benjamin Sherwood. In this doc- 



324 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

unient the party of the first part described liimself as ''William Smith, 
of the town of Savannah, in the State of Georgia, Esq.," and stipulated 
that the church should be erected within five years from date, and that 
a pew should ever be reserved for him, his heirs or assigns. Thus did 
this worthy gentleman perpetuate his memory. In 1807 the society was 
incorporated under the laws of the State, with five trustees, to whom the 
deed was transferred. The five were George Weiant, Peter Corkedale 
and the three heretofore named. 

The edifice was erected in 1810, a sehoolhonse across the way at the 
same time; and the village grew up around them. The church, suiting 
the needs and circumstances of its era, was small and inexpensive; 
benches served for pews, and carpets were imnecessary ; the front was 
painte<l white, the back and sides red. In form it was square and its 
measure was thirty-six feet. 

The devoted ministers who rode the Newburgh circuit, to which 
Haverstraw belonged in 1810, were Robert Dillon and James Shenvood. 
Henry Stead was the Presiding Elder of the district, which was the 
Albany District. Presumably they were the first who ministered in the 
new hoiise of prayer. The following year Haverstraw was joined to the 
Philadelphia Conference, in the Berg-en circuit of the East Jersey Dis- 
trict, and had John Robertson and John Finley for alternating preachers. 
The labors of these two tireless evangelists were divided among twenty- 
two places, and once every four weeks each covered the circuit. Reli- 
gion filled a large part of the simple lives of the people; the pri\'ilege 
of meeting together in His name was cherished all the more because 
of the sacrifices which it ensured. Manifestations of deep spiritual emo- 
tions often characterized the services. An unseen power took hold of 
men. On one occasion the recently bereaved widow of a Revolutionary 
soldier, after a fervent supplication "that she might be with him soon 
in the Paradise of God," fell prostrate from her knees and expired, thus 
receiving an immediate answer to her petition. Doctrinal controversy, 
both public and private, was one of the exercises which fanned the fires 
of God's tnith in the soul. It was a rare sermon that was not in part, 
designed to refute the claims of rival sects. A debate that occun-ed at 
this church May 2, 1821, will ever be prominent in the annals of the 
county. The Rev. Samuel Pelton, the Presbyterian pastor at Benson's 
Corners, and the Rev. Lawrence Keen, who was a Methodist local 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 325 

preacher from N'ew York, met on a platform especially erected in front 
of the church, and contended each for the faith that was in him. Both 
were men of scliolarsliip and intcllectnal power, and for three hours and 
a half a great audience listened attentively. 

Among the revered men who, ministering to this flock, left an abid- 
ing impression, was the Rev. George Banghart, who sang his way into 
the hearts of his hearers. The power of song was appreciated by the 
early ilethodists and its exercise encouraged. The congregational sing- 
ing was thrilling and uplifting. Mr. Banghart frequently ornamented 
his discourses with sacred melody. One of the first precentors of whom 
tlicrc is record was Ebenezer McKenzie, a man whose influence and 
service in more ways than one greatly strengthened the Haverstraw 
church. The same may be said of Mr. Heman B. McKenzie, whose 
voice for forty years in succeeding generations led the congregation and 
Sabbath school in music, and inspired the Rev. J. T. Crane to say in an 
article published in 1861 concerning the singing in this church, "'His 
praise is delightfiil.' " 

Beginning in 1820, and continuing to 1821, camp meetings were 
held nearly every year in a pleasant grove northwest of the village, on 
lands subsequently occupied by the iron works of Peck & Phelps. Peo- 
ple from all the lower river counties, especially from New York, came 
to this temple of Nature to enjoy Christian fellowship and the outpour- 
ing of the spirit. They came in sloops, on horseback and in wagons. 

The Sabbath school had its inception in a class for children, taught 
by Miss Harriet Wood, daughter of James Wood, notable for nis 
nmprovements in brick-making. Miss Wood gathered the little ones 
together first in 1825, but the school was not ofiicially organized until 
1833, and then with David M. Vanderpool as superintendent. Mr. Van- 
derpool's successor was David B. Loomis, who was also the principal of 
the public school. After him came David Cosgrove, James Rutherford 
(184-3), John A. Cosgrove (1848), Samuel Cosgrove (1851), John A. 
Cosgrove (1853 to 1872), Heman B. McKenzie, Job Holt, Heman B. 
McKenzie (1876 to 1886). Pastors of the church then successively dis- 
charged the duties of superintendent. In a historical sketch of the 
school, written by ilr. McKenzie in 1884, it is said that "during all these 
years good and faithful men have filled the positions of secretary and 
librarian, nmonii- whom are Mr. I. Wallace Marks, Messrs. George and 



326 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

William Slienvood, Mr. Jnhn M. Gardner, Mr. Edward Peek and Mr. 
William T. Pnrdy as secretaries, and Mr. Edwin Brockway, Albert Car- 
son, Aaron Snedeker, Samuel Snedeker, Charles Lane and Theodore 
Fredericks as librarians. The infant class teachers have been Mrs. John 
S. Gnrnee, Mrs. Alinira R. Blanch, Mrs. William R. Lane, Mrs. Edwin 
Brockway and Mrs. Sophia J. Peck, assisted by Mi"s. Gari'et G. Allison. 
The female superintendents have been Mrs. James Ayres, Mrs. E. S. 
Arndt, Mi-s. C. Gardner, Mrs. 11. B. McKenzie, Mrs. Samuel Snedeker 
and Mrs. Silas G. Mackey. Many other persons whose names are not 
mentioned here have been connected with this school and have done 
good service for the Master." 

Among the circuit preachers who came to Haverstraw were a num- 
ber famous in the annals of Methodism. The colleague of George Bang- 
hart, in 1820, and of John Potts, in 1819, was the celebrated orator, 
Charles Pitman. Other circuit preachers were Stephen Martindale, 
Phineas Rice, Manning Force, James Atkins, who died at the early age 
of 27 at the home of John Theill, in this town; Bartholomew Weed, 
Anthony Atwood, Isaac X. Fclch and Mulford Day, all previovis to 
1840. In the congregation the leading men about the years 1827-'30 
were Peter DeNoyelles, George Weiant, Nicholas Williamson, James 
Wood, Leonard Guniec, William Osborn, George Smith, Michael Sned- 
eker, William Palmer, Daniel Philips, James Dmmond, Abram Allison, 
Ezra Mead, Matthias Whriterour, Walter Smith. 

In 1831, during the ministration of James H. Dandy, a subdivision 
of the congregation on matters of doctrine resulted in the organization 
of "the Methodist Protestant" society. Among those who seceded were 
James Wood, George Weiant, George Smith, Michael Snedeker and 
Walter Smith. The church at the corner of Middle and Third streets 
was erected by this society. In November, 1867, the congTegation hav- 
ing fallen away, the building was sold to the German Lutherans. 

In the year 1840, during the pastorate of the Rev. Mulford Day, 
a growing sentunent in favor of a new house of worship for the Meth- 
odist Episcopal society culminated in decisive action. At a meeting in 
the preacher's house on June 1st, the following were appointed a build- 
ing committee: John S. (lurnee, Abram Allison, La\^Tence DeXoyclles, 
Lewis R. Mackey, Leonard Gurnee. Plans were prepared by John R. 
McKenzie, and Abram Cosgrove was the builder. The site was on the 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 327 

lot beside the old clnircli. Though yet incomplete, the new sanctuary 
was dedicated and for the first time occupied December 17, 1840. The 
dedicatory sermon was preached by the Rev. Charles Pitman, from Rom. 
8:3-4. The old building was sold and moved away, to be used as a bam. 
Convenient, neat and even beautiful, the new house of God was the 
pride of the village. In the shapely tower a sweet toned bell called to 
prayer or solemnly rang the knell for a departed soul. A new voice in 
Israel, it was an inspiration as well as a joy, for many hearing it came to 
the altar as converts. The revival which began that first Sabbath and 
continued for many days was the most powerful that had ever been 
known in the country. One hundred and twenty persons piiblicly made 
new resolves. The memory of the pastor under whose guidance these 
great works were performed is still "as ointment poured out." 

The choir was organized in 1S43, with Ilcman B. McKenzie as 
leader. The same year, the Methodists in the sections liaviiig become 
sufficiently numerous, Haverstraw, Stony Point and Theills were con- 
stituted as one ministerial charge, with George S. Birown as the first 
pastor. In 1846, while Michael E. Ellison was pastor of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, the Rev. Amassa S. Freeman began his long ministiy 
over the newly organized Central Presbyterian congregation. An accel- 
eration of manufactTiring made this period one of great prosperity for 
the village, in which all the churches participated. The system of rent- 
ing pews, succeeding free-will contributions, was adopted by this church 
in 1850. The congregation then had 170 full members. The parson- 
aae was erected in 1851, and the Rev. James H. McFarland was the fii*st 
to occupy it. The year 1855 is memorable for a great revival and the 
purchase of a new bell, the pastor being the Hex. Joseph B. Dobbins. 
In 1858 the church edifice was enlarged, fifteen or twenty feet being 
added to the length. Haverstraw was honored in 1859 by the presence 
of the Newark Annual Conference, Bishop Simpson presiding. It was 
an exceptionally interesting week for Haverstraw. Bishop Janes 
preached the Conference sennon. In a resolution the body tendered 
"special thanks to the choir of the church for their very delightful 
music; such nnisic as we have be«n able to understand and enjoy." 

At the outbreak of the Civil War the Rev. Jonathan T. Crane was 
ihe pastor. He was the man for the crisis. A fearless, unswerving 
patriot, a scholarly, effective preacher, he was singularly well fitted to 



328 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

be a leader in tliis community at sncli a time. During his ministry the 
house of worship was enlarged again being re-opened for divine service 
on the first Sabbath of May, 1861. The morning sennon was by Bishop 
Janes; in the evening the Rev. L. R. Dunn preached. As it then stood 
the church was ci-ucifonn in shape, the length being one hundred and 
the extreme breadth fifty-four feet. The main floor contained 125 pews, 
besides space for the choir. With the end gallery, which coiild seat 
about one hundred, there were seats for seven hundred people. In emer- 
gencies seats could be provided for a thousand. 

The planting of the Centenary Chapel was a fniit of the ministry 
of the Kev. Ralph S. Amdt, who came here in 1864, and was the first 
pastor to stay three years. A niimber of young people living between 
liaverstraw and Xew City had been converted during a re^^val. Desir- 
ing to confirm them in the faith, Mr. Anidt occasionally preached in 
their neighborhood. This was the beginning of a society, the first trus- 
tees of which were John I. Cole, William Felter, W. W. Hyer, ClaiTet 
A. Tremper and H. J. Comett. Harmon Felter, James E. Tremper 
and Garret G. Allison, of the parent church, gave personal aid and 
encouragement to the work. Land for a building was pi'esented by W. 
H. and J. P. Tremper, and a fund of $2,500 for a building was raised 
for the most part by members of the Havci-straw Church. The corner 
stone was laid in the spring of 1867, Mr. Arndt presiding at the cer- 
emony; the dedication occurred in October. 

A similar enterprise carried on by brethren of the old church resulted 
in the building (1872-3) of a new church at Gamerville; Eleazcr and 
Joshua Penney and the Felter brothers were interested in this work. 
The cost of the edifice was $6,500. 

A debt of $7,000 was cleared away during tlie pastorate of the Rev. 
William Tunison, 1867-9, and the congregation began the next decade 
with a membership of 346, besides 30 probationers. The organ was 
enlarged and improved at a cost of $500 in 1880. Two years later 
extensive improvements of a decorative character were made to the 
interior of the edifice. The organ was at this time moved from the rear 
to the front of the auditorium. The year 1883 was marked by the 
appearance of Francis ]\lurpliy, the apostle of temperance, who con- 
ducted a series of meetings. Tlio congTegation during the last half 
century has given many evidences of liberality and pecuniary ability. 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 



329 



In 1SS5 $1,000 was raised to cancel debts and meet expenses; the next 
year steam heat was introduced at a cost of $2,000; in 1890 improve- 
ments costing $3,000 were made to the interior, including new pews. 

It will be obsen^ed that this church has had an exceptionally useful 
and prosperous career and has been a blessing both to its members and 
to the community at large. The present officers are Trustees, Isaac 
Milburn, Aaron Snedeker, William T. Purdy, Charles R. Christie, 
George R. Felter, (Treasurer), Jacob Y. Smith, Ilannon Felter, Hiram 
Blair, Benjamin Gurnee (Secretary), Charles B. Lane. Stewards: 
Ileman B. McKenzie, Alfred J. Carson, Wilson Milburn, John W. Gil- 
lies, Perry Dcmarest, Daniel Milburn, John Zorn, George DeWitt, 
Frank B. Case. 



MFXISTERIAL ROLL. 

Preachers in charge and preachei*s who served Xewbiu'gh Circuit, 
Bcroen Circuit and Ilavcrstraw Circuit: 



1799. RobeT*t Green. 

1800. 8amiiel Thomas, Elijah Wool- 

sey. 

1801. Samuel Thomas, Mattihiae 

Swaim, Da\'i(l Best. 

1802. .Tames Herron, Thomas Strat- 

ton. 

1803. Thomas Stuatton, Michael B. 

Bull. 

1804. Robert Dillon, Isaac Candee. 

1805. Williiam Vredenburgfh. 

1806. Isaac Candee. 

1807. Thomas Woolsey, Asa Cum- 

mings. 

1808. John Crawford, Samnel Fow- 

ler. 

1809. Robert. Dillon, .Tamies Bdwiardls. 

1810. Robert. Dillon, .lames Shterwood. 

1811. .Xohn Robertson, ,Iohn Piniley. 

1812. Dandel Fidler. .Toihn Finley. 
181,'!. Joseph Totten, .loseph Benniett. 

1814. .Stephen Majrtind&le, Phineias 

Rice. 

1815. Davkl Best, John Finley. 

1S16. John Finley, Watters i?u:Tows. 

1817. Peter Vamiest, Abram. Ketichum 

1818. Joseph Lvhrand, William Smith 

1819. John Potts, Charles Pitman. 
1S20. Creorg'e Danghart, Ch&Pleis Plit- 

mian. 



1829. Thomas Daviis, James McLau- 

rin. 

1830. Jiames H. Dandy, Georg^e F. 

Brown. 

1831. James H.Dandy, W.illiiam Baker. 
1833. .Ia,me.s V. Potts, William Baker. 
1833. Danin il. Prefctymian, P^ter D. 

Day. 
1833. LaWn il. Prettyman, Peter D. 
Hanley. 

1835. Lsaac N. Pelch, William Hanley. 

1836. Lsaiaic N. Peleh, Beni. N. Reed. 

1837. Matthew Mla.llanl.son, Alex. Gil- 

more. 

1839. MiiWord Day, Lewiis R. Dunn. 

1838. Josiah F. Canfield. 

1840. Mulfopd Day. 

1841. Joseph Ashbr'Ook. 
1843-4. Georg'e F. Brown. 
1845. Jolhn N. Cmne. 
1846-7. Michael E. Ellison. 
1848-9. Rodney Winlans. 
1850. John W. McDoug^ii. 
1851-2. .latmes Ayars. 
1853. .Tiames A. McFarland. 
1854-5. .Toseph B. DobMns. 
1S5C-7. Francis A. MoiTell. 
1858-9. Niclholas Va.n9ant. 
18G0-1. .Tonlathan T. Cnane. 
1862-3. James Midwinter Freemian. 



330 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

1821. George Bang'h^rt, WUliaim 1864-7. Ralph S. Anndt. 

Leonard. 1867-9. WMliaim Tunison. 

1822. Mamiing- Force, Benjamin Col- 1870-2. Tbama;s H. Smith. 

lins. 1873-5. Charles Laren. 

1823. BeiiJ. Collins, James AloLns. 1876-8. D. K. Lo^'ery. 

1824. Bar till olomenv Weed, Joseph 1879-81. Jamies K. Bryan. 

Gary. 1882-4. Eacfha«l Hareoiirt. 

1823. Bartholomew Weed, x\n*hony 1885-7. James W. ilarshall. 

Atwood. 1888-'90. James B. Faulks. 

1820. David Bartane, William A. Wig- 18891-3. M. D. Churoh. 

gins. 1894-5. John Atkinson. 

1827. David Barrtdne, William Mic- 1896-7. E. il. Garten. 

Dougle. 189S-'03. S. P. Hammond. 

1828. Geo. Danghart, James Lawton. 

THE CENTEAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. 

Preacliing having reference to the organization of a Presbyterian 
church in tlie village was begun on the second Sabbatli of February, 
184C. The first worship]>ers were but a handful. Being encouraged 
to go forward, they presented a petition at the next meeting of the 
Fourth Presbytery of Kcw York, that a commission be sent to this vil- 
lage to organize a society to be called "The Central Presbyterian Church 
of Haverstraw." The commissioners that were appointed met with the 
congregation iu the edifice formerly occupied by the Methodist I*ro- 
testant society, on the evening of iMarch 22, 184(), on which occasion the 
congregation was regularly and otficially constituted and organized with 
nine members, namely; Epenetus Wheeler, Amos Briggs and wife, 
Henry Garner and wife, Ceorge Gonrl(>y and wife, James ]\Iax\vell and 
wife. The sermon was preached by the Rev. Erskine Mason, 1). 1)., the 
charge to the two elders then installed was spoken by the Rev. Horace 
Eaton, and the charge to the people was laid upon them by the Rev. 
Edwin Holt. 

This small congregation had been ministered to by several supplies 
when on the last Sabbath in June, of that same year, the Rev. Amassa 
S. Freeman came to preach for a day. As illustrating how a.n appar- 
ently trivial incident may influence one's whole life. Dr. Freeman him- 
self related this circumstance: On the day when he was graduated 
from the theological seminary in New York one of the members of his 
class invited him to meet socially that evening at the house of his father 
in the city. When they were assembled for the last time the friend that 
by chance or otherwise was sitting beside Freeman remarked, 'I am 
engaged to preach next Sabbath at Haverstraw, but I want to go in 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 331 

another direction; will joii go to Ilaverstraw in my place?' The next 
Saturday afternoon Freeman was a passenger on the Warren, and that 
night the guest of Mr. Amos Briggs, at Samsondale. Mr. Briggs was one 
of the ciders of the congregation, Mr. Ephenctvis Wheeler being the 
otlier. The theme of the yoimg minister's sermon the next morning at 
the "little chiirch" was "God's exceeding great and precious promises." 

Mr. Freeman was invited to remain for a while as a siipply, and he 
consented. For a few Sabbaths services were held both morning and 
afternoon, and then for awhile in the afternoon only, as a reviving Bap- 
tist society had obtained the privilege of using the church on Sabbath 
morning. Already the Presbyterians had decided to build a church of 
their own, and a piece of land had been offered for the purpose by Judge 
Allison and the Kev. Edward Hopper. The following is a copy of the 
original subscription list now in the possession of Mr. William A. Specls : 
"We whose names are hereunto subscribed do respectively promise and 
agree to and with the Trustees of the Central Presbyterian Church of 
ITavei"straw, to pay to them or to such committee as may be appointed by 
them to receive the same, the sum set opjiosite to our respective names, 
to be by them appropriated and applied solely and entirely for the pur- 
chasing and furnishing of materials for the erecting and completing of 
a church edifice or house of worship for said Central Presbyterian 
Church, which house shall cost and be valued at the sum of not less than 
two thousand dollars, to be located upon some site to be gratuitously 
obtained, and which shall be on the Ridge height of ground near the 
main road known as Main street, mthin the vicinity of the large chest- 
nut trees just north of the village of WaiTen and between Division and 
Warren streets, and which sums here subscribed shall be considered due 
as soon as the sum of twelve hundred dollars shall be subscribed hereto 
by bonafide subscribers and payable in such installments as may be 
arranged, regulated and required by said tiiistees, to the end that the 
same may be completed with all practical facility and despatch. (Dated) 
June 22, 1846. Henry Gamer, $500; Alexander Davidson, $25; Amos 
Briggs, $100. 'I hereby pledge myself to obtain from friends of the 
cause in the city of Xew York, donations to the amovmt of (E. Wheeler), 
$100; George L. Allison, $15; Samuel G. Johnson, $20; John DeBaun, 
$10; John Smith, $10; Robert Smith, $5; George GoTirley, $5; John I. 
Suffern, $100; James Maxwell, $5; James Gourley, $5; John English, 



332 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

$15; James Graham, $5; Abraham Cosgrove, $10; D. B. Loomis, $10; 
Alexander Stewart, $2; James Eussell, $5; John Hughes, $1; John Bell, 
$2; George Senior, $1; William Watt, $1; Thomas Boyd, $1; Robert 
Lee, $2; James Wilson, $1; William McWilliams, $1; John Wilson, $1; 
George M. Smith, $1; Benjamin West, $2; M. McConnell, $1; John 
Wiles, $5; Sampson Marks, $10; Abraham Goetschins, $25; Samuel 
Knapp, $10; G. I. Wheeler, $5.„ (Several names undecipherable, $4.) 
Mr. Hopper is famous as the author of the hymn "Jesus Savior, Pilot 
Me." He was the son-in-law of Elder Wheeler and assisted at the laying 
of the corner-stone. The era was a thriWng one for the village and the 
congregation looked futureward mtli confidence. The work of constinic- 
tion began in the summer, and first a long shed was erected on the church 
lot, to serve for awhile as a temple of worship, also as a shelter for the 
carpenters during the building, and finally, for the horses. The first 
service under the shed was held on August 16th. The corner-stone was 
laid with appropriate ceremony on the 21st of the same month. The 
walls of the new building were ready for the rafters when, on October 
13th, they were blown down, even to the basement windows. But they 
were rebuilt, and the basement of the church was opened for public wor- 
.ship Febmary 7th, 1847. Thus far Mr. Freeman had been preaching as 
a licenciate and officiating as stated supply, but on October 14th, 1847, 
jie was ordained to the ministry, in the Central Presbyterian Church of 
jSTew York, of which the Rev. Dr. William Adams was pastor. The ser- 
mon was preached by the Rev. Dr. Erskine Mason, of the Bleeker Street 
Church, and the charge was given by the Rev. Dr. Adams, who had been 
Mr. Freeman's pastor. The new church in Haverstraw being finished, it 
was dedicated on September 19th, 1847. The sennon was preached by 
the Rev. James I. Ostrom, then Moderator of Presbytery, who had also 
presided at the corner-stone laying. There was a large attendance on 
this occasion. 

The demolition of the walls was not the only crisis that the congre- 
gation passed through while the edifice was in course of erection. There 
had come a time when resources failed, and it seemed that the aiiditorium 
would never be completed. Then it was that the yoimg minister, who 
was not yet a pastor, came to the rescue, and armed with a letter of rec- 
ommendation from Presbytery, solicited and obtained financial contri- 
butions in New York. The first to respond was William E. Dodge, who 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 333 

had beeu superintendent of the Sabbath school which as a boy Mr. Free- 
man had attended. 

Mr. Freeman was installed as pastor on Wednesday evening, April 
24, 1849. The Eev. Dr. Adams of New York preached the seniion, 
the Rev. Mason ISToble gave the charge to the pastor, and the Eev. 
Thomas H. Skinner the charge to the people. The Rev. Living-ston Wil- 
lard, then pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, made the closing 
prayer. The new pastor was the son of Nathaniel and Charlotte Kcttel 
Freeman of New York. Bom in Boston Oct. 6, 1823, he was but 25 
years old when installed into his first and only pastorate. A gi-eat gTand- 
father of his, the Rev. Thomas Prentice, was pastor of the First Congre- 
gational Church of Charlestown, Mass, from 1739 until his death, at 
the age of eighty, in the year 1782, — a church that was burned when 
Charlestown was destroyed by the British, in 1775. Amassa S., the 
second of three sons, was prepared for college in the Cornelius Institute, 
under the Rev. J. J. Owens, D. D., and was graduated from the New 
York University in 1845, and from Union Theological Seminary in 
1846. The congTegation, being now fully equipped, entered upon a 
career which has ever since been a blessing to all connected. Up to this 
time Mr. Freeman had lived successively with the families of Mr. James 
Rutherford, Mr. Henry Gamer, Mr. D. B. Loomis and Mr. John 
DeBaun. In 1850, it was in the month of April, he was man-ied to 
May, daughter of Dr. John S. Conger of New York, at the Collcgate 
Reformed Church, then situated in Lafayette Place. 

The next ten were years of growth for the Central Presbyterian 
Church; in 1860, it being necessary to enlarge the accommodations, 
twenty-four feet were added to the leng-th of the building. At the 
re-opening, August 29th of that year, an appropriate discourse was deliv- 
ered by the Rev. Charles S. Porter, then of Boston, the boyhood pastor 
of Mr. Freeman, in the Second Avenue Church, New York. During the 
war Mr. Freeman was a strong supporter of the Union cause. The twen- 
ty-fifth annivei-sary of the church was duly observed in 1871, and made 
memorable to Dr. Freeman and his wife by many expressions and tokens 
of affection. Then, by way of marking the thirty-seventh anniversary 
of this continuous ministry, in Jime, 1883, a tower was built upon the 
church, with a bell and clock. Then followed the fortieth anniversary, 
with a sermon from the words, "These forty years the Lord thy God 



334 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

hath been with thee," the pastor being assisted on the occasion by his 
schoohnate and college classmate, the Rev. William P. Eireed, D. C, 
of Philadelphia. In 1888 the entire interior of the church was remod- 
eled and refrescoed, and a new organ placed behind the pnlpit. In 1891 
tlie forty-fifth anniversary occasion was obser\'ed, and from the text, 
"These forty and five years," pastor and people gratefully reviewed the 
dealing's of Providence with them. 

Dr. Freeman was spared to see the fiftieth anniversary of his min- 
istry in Haverstraw and the great celebration which attended it. The 
celebration began on Sabbath moniing, June 27 (1896), with jubilee 
services in the Opera House. Other churches in the village were closed. 
The house was filled to overflowing. A special choir of fifty voices led 
the singing. In the course of a mejnorable sermon Dr. Freeman said: 
"I trust I am grateful for the harmony that has prevailed through all 
these years. In our meetings of Session, in which the elders with myself 
have consulted together for the spiritual welfare of this church, there 
has been no divided counsel. I have had the co-operation of those asso- 
ciated with me in years past, as I have of those constituting the present 
Session, namely, Elders Duryea, Eeynolds, Wilson, Wheeler and Cooper. 
The same has been true of the board of trustees. ... I am gi-ate- 
ful, too, that I have been pennitted to serve such a people, from whom 
I and mine have received such uniform loyalty and kindness. ]^ot only 
have they met their pecuniary obligations, but in their thoughtfulness 
have anticipated and cheerfully responded to every want or wish. 

. I am thankful for the pleasant relations sustained with people and 
pastors of other churches. ... I think of many who loved this 
church, and who shared with us in its early struggles. . . . What 
a happy day this would have been to them!" 

Afternoon services were held in the church, and the union com- 
munion .service Avas largely attended. In the evening the principal 
address was delivered by the Rev. Wilson Phraner. On Monday the cel- 
ebration was mainly in charge of the Presbytery of Hudson, and 
upwards of fifty clergymen paid their respects to Dr. Freeman. Meet- 
ings were held in the church by the Presbytery, Sabbath school and 
Christian Endeavor Society, morning and evening, and addresses were 
delivered by J. D. Hopkins, Alonzo Bedell, D. A. Melvin, Judge Alonzo 
Wheeler and by Rev. C. L. Thompson of New York. Tuesday was Cit- 




LAVAI.ETTE WILSON. 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 335 



& 



izen's Day, and the village was handsomely decorated. In the evening 
there was a parade of civic societies, including the fire department. A 
mass meeting was held in the Opera House, with General Ira M. Hedges 
presiding, at which addresses were made by Rev. Eugene Hill, Rev. John 
Atkinson, Rev. Sylvester Malone, Regent of the State University ; Rev. 
J. W. H. Weibe'l, Rev. J. R. Brown, Rev. J. W. Marshall, Rev. J. 
McMahon, County Judge A. S. Tompkins, J. D. Blanvelt, Judge 
Wheeler, Assemblyman Otis H. Cutler, Horatio N. Wood, William T. 
Purdy, John W. Funnan, Alonzo Bedell, T. F. Redmond and W. D. 
Lincoln. A poem was read by Rev. W. G. Hacsclbarth, of Xyack. Sev- 
eral choruses were sung, notably the "Gloria," from Mozart's Twelfth 
Mass. A band rendered a special composition entitled "Fifty Years 
Ago," dedicated to Dr. Freeman, and composed by Bandmaster George 
C. Glassing. A purse of $2,000 was presented from the citizens by 
General Hedges, a gold case containing fifty dollars in gold from lona 
Lodge, K. of P. ; fifty dollars in gold from Sequel Lodge, I. O. O. F. ; a 
couch from Stony Point Lodge, F. and A. M. ; a chair from the Fire 
Department; a silver loving cup from David Pye Post, G. A. R. 

That a whole village should give itself up to celebrating the fiftieth 
annivereary of the pastorate of a minister, is sufficient evidence of the 
quality of that ministry, and of the place that Dr. Freeman filled in the 
community. The long pastoral relation was dissolved by his death on 
April 27, 1898. Dr. Freeman fell dead in the street near the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, at 4 p. m., when out making pastoral calls. 
Rev. Dr. D. F. Bonner of Florida, ?^. Y., presided at the funeral seiwice 
in the Central Presbyterian Church, and remarks were made by Revs. 
W. W. Atterbury, D. D., J. E. Lloyd, G. LI. Wallace, Dr. Charles 
Beattie, Dr. Phraner and J. B. Faulks. A flag which Dr. Freeman had 
presented for the ladies of the village to Captain Pye's company on 
their departure for the war, was draped over his coflSn. The interment 
was in Mount Repose Cemetery. 

The present pastor is the Rev. George H. Munsell, the eldei-s ai-e 
Isaac Duryea, H. M. Reynolds, Alonzo Wheeler, L. Wilson, D. C. Wool- 
sey, John Eckerson. Trustees, William H. Carr, Charles A. Zundle, 
Henry C. Vervalcu, Alonzo Bedell, Oscar Reynolds. 



336 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

ST. PETEK'S. 

The first mass celebrated in Haverstraw was about 1843, at the home 
of Patrick Eeilly, in the old stone house north of the First Presbyterian 
Church. Until regular services were instituted here, it was the custom 
of the Catholics on the west side of the river to attend mass at Ver- 
planck's Point. An arrangement was made after a time by which Father 
Hackett of Ver Planck's Point gave part of his services to the people of 
Haverstraw for aboiit five years, celebrating mass for them on Sundays 
as often as he conveniently could, for a while in the old stone house of 
]\fr. Reilly and afterwards on the upper floor of a building at Benson's 
Comers, in West Haverstraw. Meanwhile funds were being raised with 
which to build an edifice. The first resident pastor was Father McGviire, 
but he remained only for a few weeks, and again for a time Father 
Hackett, of VerPlanck's Point, ministered to the congregation on alter- 
nate Sundays. In 1849 Father McKeon was sent to Haverstraw as res- 
ident pastor. The church edifice was in course of constiiiction when he 
arrived, and it had not been finishel long before it was necessary to 
enlarge it. Father McKcon continued as pastor for three years and was 
succeeded by Rev. Terrence Scollon, in August, 1852. No records of a 
date anterior to Father Scollon's time have been found. In 1857 the 
Rev. Patrick Mahoney became the pastor and during his term the rec- 
tory in Ridge street, now used as a convent by the Sisters in charge of 
St. Peter's School, was built; also the Church of the Immaculate Con- 
ception at Tompkins Cove. 

Father Mahoney's pastorate is notable further because of the erect- 
ing of the present church edifice on Broadway. The date of its com- 
pletion was 1869. Father Mahoney continued as pastor nineteen years, 
and was succeeded temporarily by the Rev. "William P. O'Kelly. The 
Rev. Henry P. Baxter was made pennancnt pastor in 1876. His first 
impoi'tant work was to purchase and lay out the present Cemetery of 
St. Peter, in 1877. Next he erected the present parochial residence on 
Broadway, adjoining the new church, and on September 8, 1844, opened 
St. Peter's Parochial School. His last work of note was the building 
of the church at Grassy Point. He died in September, 1891, after a 
pastorate of nearly fifteen years. He was succeeded by the Rev. Thomas 
F. McGare, the present pastor, who had been an assistant of the priest 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 337 

in the parish since 1878. The church debt at that time was $42,000, 
but in less than six years afterward it was cleared off. Father McGare 
also completed the church by erecting thereon a steeple. At a cost of 
two thousand dollars he put in a steam plant. He put in new cathedral 
stained glass \vindows and set up a beautiful brass altar rail. He put in 
a chime of ten bells in the belfrey, thus giving to St. Peter's the distinc- 
tion of being the second church in the Archdiocese of New York, the 
cathedral of St. Patrick's being the first, to possess a chime of bells. He 
had the church beautifully frescoed and put in a large Jardine organ. 
He also had the outer walls of the church pointed up and painted, and 
new gutters built around the entire church. He beautified the church- 
yard, converted the old church building into a beautiful hall and built 
two school buildings, one by the side of the new hall, the other at its 
rear. His latest work was the erecting of a new sacristy. 

For several years he attended the missions at Grassy Point and Con- 
gers. In the latter place, in 1893, he built the Church of St. Paul. 
Some time aftei-wards, however, he lost both missions. In 1894 Grassy 
Point was given to Tompkins Cove parish and in January, 1896, the 
Rev. Michael Mulhern was appointed first resident pastor of St. Paul's 
Church, Congers. 

GERMAN EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH. 

This congTegation was formed in 1875 (October 9) by the imion of 
the First German Evangelical and the Trinity Lutheran Churches. The 
Rev. Herman Schoppe was the first minister under the new organization. 
The house of worship was originally erected for the ilethodist Pre- 
testants. A parsonage is also owned by the congregation. "Well remem- 
bered ministers, besides Mr. Schoppe since the union, have been the 
Rev. Alfred Tilley, Mr. Franke, Charles J. Spillman and Marin HoUs. 

Services for German people were first held in Haverstraw in 1857, 
from which time to the organization of the German United Societies, in 
18G1, the people were ministered to by the pastor of the Dutch Evan- 
gelical Church of Clarksto-\\m, the Rev. Mr. Wahrenberger, who con- 
tinued to occupy the pulpit until 1S6G. He was succeeded by the Rev. 
Mr. Wirtz, who was followed in 1867 by the Rev. Mr. Berger, under 
whom there was a division in the congregation. Some left and organ- 
ized another congregation, which worshipped in Division street. Mr. 



338 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Berger preached there for a time and was succeeded by the Eev. Mr. 
Somers. The Eev. Mr. Meinachcr, pastor of the okl church, died sud- 
denly while pastor, and was succeeded by the Rev. Strieker, Weisel Win- 
teieck and Schoppe. Under the last named the division was healed and 
the two congregations reimited. 

ST. LUKE'S PEOTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHUECH. 

St. Luke's parish was incorporated as an independent parish on the 
9th of September, 1871, under the laws of the State of New York. The 
services of the Episcopal Church had been held for a number of years 
previously, first by the Eev. J. B. Gibson, D. D., then rector of Trinity 
parish, and after him by the Eev. Ebenezer Gay, Jr. St. Luke's parish 
owns a building which it bought from a society of Baptists who were 
unable to maintain a foothold. 

The services of the church were abandoned for about a dozen years, 
but were resumed permanently near the close of the year 1893, when 
the present rector, the Eev. William A. Maskei', was called, and he has 
maintained the services regtilarly since. 

The Eev. Pr. J. B. Gibson organized the parish, and after him it 
was ministered to by the Eev. Walter Delafield, D. D., late of Chicago, 
and now deceased, and by the Eev. A. T. Ashton, now Archdeacon of 
Dutchess. 

CONGEEGATION OF THE SONS OF JACOB. 

Previous to the year 1897 the Je\\ash brethren of this town assem- 
bled together for worship at a private house. In that year the congre- 
gation was organized in the Simons building, with the Eev. A. Epstein 
as rabbi, and the foUo^ving officers; President, A. Goldstein; Vice Pres- 
ident, S. Eoskam; Secretary, William Levi; Treasurer, H. Simon. The 
number of membei's was about fifteen. The church was completed and 
dedicated September 6, 1899. The Rev. Dr. Drachamen of New York, 
the Eev. P. Mendes of New York assisted Eabbi Epstein at the didica- 
tory service, and several clergymen of the village, namely, the Eev. 
Messrs. Bonsai, Hammond and Masker, were also prest'ut. The Eev. 
Mr. Epstein continued as rabbi for three yeare; the present rabbi is the 
Rev. M. Silverman. Officers in 1902: President, II. Simon; Vice 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 339 

President, C. Sandusky; Secretary, M. Lichenstcin; Treasurer, M. Wai'- 
scliaur. Trustees, A. Cioldstciu, William Levi, L. Slack: The religious 
scliool in connection with the cougregatiou meets regularly in the base- 
ment of the church. 

METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHUECH AT THEILLS. 

This society, situated in the hamlet of Theill's, had its origin nearly, 
if not quite a century ago. The first meeting was held in the private 
residence of John Theills by the circuit rider of that time, and the soci- 
ety was part of the old Ilaverstraw circuit, having preaching once a 
month. The circuit extended almost to Trenton, N. J., and was supplicil 
by two preachers. Among the first were Bishop Ashbury, Henry Beam 
and George Banghart. The charge was first known as ISTorth Haver- 
straw, and has been identified vnth Gamerville and St. George, Haver- 
straw and rJohnstontown at different times, biit in 1902 stands alone, 
with a membership of 75, a parsonage well furnished, and with Dr. E. 
F. Fowler as pastor, who succeeded the Rev. R. B. Lockwood. In 1835, 
during the pastorate of the Rev. Isaac N. Felch, the church edifice was 
built and the Sabbath school organized. 



SOCIETIES. 

lona Lodge, No. 128, Knights of Pythias, has been a social institu- 
tion of the village of Haverstraw since December 7, 1874. It was 
organized by fifteen members, with the follo^ving officers: C. C, Alonzo 
Bedell; V. C, Lewis Levison; Prelate, M. Richnum; K. R. S., Henry 
Ilahan; M. E., Lewis Eckstein; M. F., Edward Bedell; M. A., Cyrillus 
Myers; I. G., Marcus Washburn; O. G., Edward Schmohl. The lodge 
moved from temporary quarters on the first of April, 1875, to the top 
floor of the DeBaun building, in Main street, thence to the McKenzic 
building, in Third street, 1879, and to the Johnston building, next to 
the National Bank, in 1897. Nimiber of members, 112; one of whom, 
Alonzo Bedell, has been the Grand Chancellor of the Grand Domain of 
New York, and later was one of the four Supreme Representatives from 
this Grand Domain. Officers in 1902: C. C, George Lambert; V. C, 
Valentine Stock; Prelate, Edward Stubbins; K. R. S., Charles II. Zuu- 



340 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

del; M. E., Henry Fm-man; M. A., Frank S. Terry; I. G., Edward 
tliis Grand Domain. Lodge ofRccrs in 1902: C. C., George Lambert; 
V. C, Valentine Stock; Prelate, Edward Stubbins; K. R S., Charles IL 
Zundel; M. E., Henry Furman; M. A., Frank S. Teny; L G., Edward 
Bedell; O. G., N. B. Brooks. 

Court Rockland, Foresters of America, was organized in Haverstraw 
village in September, 1891, with Michael Lowery as Chief Ranger; 
Michael McOabe, Financial Secretary; Andrew Donnelly, Treasurer. 
The court^ has paid out up to the present year about $G,000. The lodge- 
rooms are in the Opera House building; number of members, 71. 0th- 
cers in 1902: Michael McCabe, Chief Ranger; Henry Toppln, Sub- 
Chief Ranger; Robert F. Hackbart, Financial Secretary; John J. Fin- 
uegan. Treasurer, William Tierney, Recording Secretary. 

Court Garnerville, Foresters of America was organized at Garncr- 
ville in 1895. The court has 150 members and owns its building. John 
MclSTee is the Chief Ranger; John Cox, Recording Secretary; John Mur- 
ray, Treasurer. 

Stony Point Lodge, No. 313, F. & A. M., of Haverstraw Village. 
Instituted June 17, A. L., 5853. Past Masters: Henry Christie, 1853; 
John Hunting, 1854; Joseph Brower, 1854; Edward Pye, 1856; John 
L Cole, 1857; William Call, 1858; George S. 01dfield,'l859-'61; Wil- 
liam H. Wiles, 1802-4; Stephen G. ]STe\vman, 1865; L. V. E. Robinson, 
1866-8; A. E. Suffcrn, D. D., G. M., 1870, '71, '78; Charles H. Briggs, 
1869, '72, '73; O. W. Parsons, 1874, '75, '82; L. 0. Markham, P. A. 
G. L., 1879, '80, '81, '83; John D. N"orris, 1884, '85; Irving Brown, 
1886-7; H. B. Hargraves; R. W. Oldfield, P. A. G. L., 1889-'90; Wil- 
liam T. Purdy, 1891-2; Charles K. Baum, 1893-4; C. I. Springsteen, 
1895-6; H. W. Babcock, 1897-8; N. B. Bayley, 1899-1900; Alonzo 
Wheeler, 1876, '77, 1901. Officers for 1902: C. H. Zundel, Master; 
Rev. W. A. Masker, S. W.; James C. Dick, J. W.; O. E. Reynolds, 
Treasurer; C. H. Newman, Secretary; L. 0. Markham, S. D.; G. O. 
Bedford, J. D.; Alonzo Wheeler, Chaplain; R. W. Oldfield, Marshal; 
Frank S. Allison, S. M. of C; R. J. Taylor, J. M. of C; Henry Furman 
and Adolph Goldstein, Stewards; J. B. Weygant, Tyler; C. L. Spring- 
steen, N. B. Bayley, Alonzo Wlieeler. The lodge rooms are in the Fow- 
ler building, corner of Main and Fourth streets. 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 341 

THE HAVEKSTEAW CLUB. 

This club was organized in 1893, as the Haverstraw Bicycle Club, 
with five members enrolled. In 1895 the name was changed to the 
Ilavorstraw Club. It has now (1902) a mcmbcrshii) of 152. 121 resi- 
dent, 31 non-resident, and one honorary member, and is officered as 
follows: O. E. Reynolds, President; J. S. Penny, Vice-Pi-esident; H. M. 
Pnrdy, Secretary, and I). F. Lake, Financial Secretary and Treasurer. 
D. Fowler, Jr., G. A. Pray, F. D. Taylor, Eobert Blair and W. H. Park- 
ton, Directors. 

A CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE. 

CASUALTIES. 

1831, .Iiine 7. — Explosion of the General Jackson a)t Grassy Point. Fourteen 
persons knlled, including- John Glass, foaindier of the Print Works. 

1837, May 26.— Deatih of Major Shubea.! P. Peck and Henry Beecher. In 
oonuinany -with John ,T. Peck and Amos Brigg's, they -were sailiiig' in a small 
gteam pleasure bolait-, whSch' had been, constructed under the supeirvtisaon of 
Major Peck for the double purpose of navigating the creek and t-o make a 
praiOticaJ aipplication of the science of engineering, a study to which he was 
much devoted. They had proceetled down the sitreani neariy a mile, when the 
l>oiiler exploded. Mr. Beeoher and Majdr Peck wen'e Mlled and the boat was 
sunk. S. P. Peck was only twenty-two and had beem connected in business 
with his flather under the firm name of E. Peck & Son. Mr. Beecher was the 
manager of the chemical works antl a U'eutenlanit in the Warren Grays. 

1838, March. — Oalico Works partly burned. Murder committed in the upper 
part of Hlaverstrlaivv; Elisha Babcock Idlled with a Stone. 

1846, January 21. — The Acad'emy burned do^vn. October 9. — The scaffolding 
of the new Pres'byterian Ohiia-ch fell; several workmen badly hurt. October 
13. — Hurricane; the walls of the new Presbyt/enian Clmrch fell; brickyards 
iliibuiaged greatly. 

1849, Jidy and August. — A niunber of delaths from Oholera. 

1850, iray 28. — J. JDartling's house destroyed by fire. This was the first 
house erected in Havea-straw rillage, and stood alt the oorner of Miaan and 

Front, the sdt.e now occupied by the U. S. Hotel. .Tune 22. — The stetiinboait 
Warren burned to^lay near New York. August 18. — ^The father of Amos 
Briggs instantly killed by being thrown from a wagon. April 6 — Levi 
DeNoyelles killed on the Hudson River radlroiad. 

1853, .July 9. — Building at the chemical works blown down; several 
lives losit. 

MEMOR.\BLE EVENTS. 

1810. — First sch'oolhouse built. 

1815. — Post Office estuiblisihe*!. 

1831. — Methodiist Protestant Church (now German Lutheran) erected. 



342 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

1835. — Six bears killed in tJh'e HaTerRtnaw Motm'taiiiB. A v-ery hard •wimter; 
sh'Ow four feet deep on the level. 

1835. — A nejw steiambdait. built, called *be Wiarren; cost $30,000. 

1837, Jianuary. — An. excepd:iionally brilllianit displaj' of flortlh'eni lights. 

Ks;i7. — Felter's comer (norithwest corner of Main and Fa^ont) sold to Isaac 
B. Van Honten, for $0,000. 

1837. — Wire factory amd calico works stopped. Great pressure for money; 
hieaftny fadlures in New York, Boston and New Orleans. Specie very scarce; 
comimandis 20 per cent. Hard tim«s. 

1837. — Villag-e of Warren laid out. 

1837, May 4. — A new steiamboait, called the Arro^v, started at Nyack. 

1838, March. — More pigeons flying- this winter thla.n in many yelaps past. 

1838, Miarch. — The steamboat Orange came on in opposition tio the Warren. 
1838. — Bockland county election: Haverstraw, Van Buren, maj., 45; 

Olarkstown, Vom Buren, maj., 355; Ilamapo, Van Buren, maj., 89; Orangetown, 
Van Buren maj., 162. Wiilliam H. Seward eleeted Governor; Whigs celebrate 
tSie victory at Smditih's Hotel. 

1839. — The stelamboat OPange i.9old for $4,150, the stock-'holders losing ail. 

1839, July 4. — Celebration in Haverstraw; ortataon by H. G. Prall dn M. E. 
Ohurch, military pariade and boat races. 

1839, July 12. — President Van Buren landed at Grassy Point; welcomed 
by populace. An aocddent happened; the gang plank broke, throwing three 
|5ersons into the water; no one was drowned, but an elderl.y man lost his wig. 
(Mr. H. B. McKenzie, who at this date (1902) still resides in Haverstraw, was 
jjresent on this occasion.) 

1839, July 12. — A Water spwit seen on the Taippan Zee. 

1839. — The Pulaski Cadeits from New York enca.mped nine days on the pla- 
teau on northern edge of the village, and were visited by a military company 
from 'ilappan. A sword that w-as [jresented to Captain William McArdle, the 
commander of the cadets, by the citizens of HaversitTaw, is now owned by Dis- 
trict Attorney Thomas H. Dee. Captain McArdle afterwlard marnied tlhe 
daxighter of Judge Allison. 

1840, March. — Presbyt-erian Church organized a.t Haverstraw, Rev. .Taracts 
llildreth pastor. 

1840, December 16. — New M. E. Church deddoated; seinmon by Rev. Oliorles 
Pit/man. Great revival; one hundred converted. 

1S41. — Brie ranilroiad under construction. 

1841. — Post Office removed from William B. Westervelt's to DeNoyelles & 
Gurnee'is store, Lawrence DeNoyelles having been appointied Postmaster. 

1842, January. — Ja-mes Miller appointed keeper of the Stony Point lig^t- 
bouise, vice Benjamin Coe. 

1843.— A choir established in the gallery of the M. E, Churoh. 

1844, January 4. — Revivial in the Presbyterian Chiir&h near GarnerAdlle. 

I844!— Death of Mrs. Waildrton, aged 104. 

1844. — Singing ai&socilation formed. 

1844, September.— Horace Greely addressed a Whig meeting at Benson's 

1844, November.— Argument between Dr. .Tones and Dr. Piiitlue on med- 
icine. ,,,.„, 1. 
1844, November. — The village full of people looking for houses on account 

oif the cni-pet faetory Coming. 

1844, Decemlwr 12. — Peter DeNoyelles, an old resident, died. 

1845, January 20. — The carpet faJctory in partial operation. Nenv brick- 
yards starting near the \'illage. 



TOWN OF HAVERSTRAW. 343 

1845, Februiairy 24.— GreaA oomin'ofeioii in the village; three cMldren at 
one birltlh. 

1845. — Rev. J. N. Grame, a niota.ble pastor 'Of thie M. E. Ohurch, appointed. 

1845. — Tbe plsice filled watili strang'ers. More rum sold in Haverstraw tlnan 
ever before. 

1845, May 27. — A lec'tiire in tih© Academy on amimal magnetdsm, by Prof. 
Loomis; great wonder aimong 'the people. 

1845, May. — The Tempeiramoe Glee Club of Paterson g^ve a conc«Tt in H'av- 
ergtPaftv; "a nevr thing." The George Smiibh place sold for a large price, 
$2,630. 

1845, August 15. — A mew miliifcary oompany forming an the village. 

1845, October 1. — Genenal tnaiindng; officeirB and men all green. Singing 
school organiized by H. B. JIcKenzie. 

1846, Febi-uary 2. — Thirteen hundjred dollars voted for a new schoolhiouse, 
the Academy having been destroyed by fire. 

1846, February 8. — The new Presbyt/eriaai preacher preacihed in the small 
dhurch. 

1846, May 3. — Great excitememt a:boiut the new sctitoolhouise; petition 
againlst appropriating lais mrucli as $1,3U0. "Peace has left out bwders." The 
church (Presbyterilan) in a f eiTnent on a'coount of two preachers, one opposed 
to the other. 

1846, May 24. — Excitement throughout the counltry on the license queistion. 

1846, March 24. — At a missionary meeting in the M. E. Church, $110 raised, 
which was the larg'est sum ever given by the oongrega;tdon tio that date. 

1846, April 22. — Another Presbyterian Church organized. 

1846, May 16. — A new paper started, called the Rockland County Messenger. 
The toiwn voted n'o-license by 222 majority. 

1846, June 4. — The Baptists orgianized a chiirch. 

1846,August 12. — The new sohoodhouse going up. 

1846, August 21. — Oorner-stione of the Cemtral Presbyterian Churcih laid. 

1846, September. — A greBit amount of trouble aboiut the district school- 
house; qxmte an excitement whether Mr. Laomis, *he sch'ool tjeacher, shall be 
sustained or not. 

1846, October 9.-^Distract school meeting; the teaoher euisltainied Iby a vote 
of 32 to 15. 

1846. October 13.— "Haverstraw getting to be a very wicked place as our 
population increases." 

1846, October 23.— Mr. Anison Nash, an old residenit, died this morning. 

1846, Noveniiber 3. — Carpet wieavers on strike. Twenty-one ind.ictments for 
sielling liquor without a license in our county. 

1846, December 3. — The A. M. E. Zion Church dedicated. 

1847.— The Baptisit Church (mow St. Luke's Episcopal) dedicated. 

1848. — ^The Temperance House opened. 

1848. — Warren ftoumdry opened by Myron Ward and R. A. Vervalen, on the 
river front. 

1849, Jannary 16.— Dea)th of Hugh Irving, the suiperintemdent of the carpet 
factory. 

1849, Febru-ao-y 5.— The First Presbytewan Church dedicated. Concert gaven 
by H. B. McKenzie. 

1849, Miaxch 7.— The couMtry filled with foreigners. 

1S49, irarch 29.— The Protestant Mefthodi'sts have re-opened their c-hurcli 
and have a stationed preadher. 

1S49. April 25.— Rev. A. S. Freeman ordained. 

1849._Death of Abraham Goeltsohius, Jothn Bulson, David Purdy, Mrs. 
Alfred Marios. 

1849, Noveimber 17.— Carpet factory partly stopped. 



344 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

1850, January 1. — ^More brickyards g'oSng up. 

1850, Feibnilary 3.— J. SJieTwood appount-ed Postmaster. 

1S50, Miay 1. — Bight licenses to sell liquor gr'anted. Dr. Austin setfctles here. 

1850, Aug-ust 3. — The carpet factory permanently closed, and the employes 
mofing aiway. 

1850, Sepbeonber. — E. and A. Meurks g'oing' into the brick business with John 
J. Peck. 

1850. — Died: Miss Caitherine AUision, Mass Sarah June, Mrs. John I. Cole, 
Samuel G. Johnison, Samuel Demaresit, William Ease, Mrs. DanieJ Spring-steem. 

1850, Sepbembeir 23. — Began to burn "spurt gias" in the Ftiores. 

1851, May 15. — Erie railroad opened to Dunkirk. 

1851, September 28.— St. Peft.er's OaithoMc Church dedicated. 
1851. — Died: Miss Emnra Eiker, Sliss Annia Nye, B. F. Ga/rdner, Benjamin 
Ooe, Aunt Derrdka DeNoyelles, Abram J. Snedekecr. 
1852.— United States Hotel buHt. 

1852. — Died: Mrs. Ezra Melad, Captain Jaoob Archer, Ezra Mead, Jr. 
1853. — Mount Kiepose Cemetery dedicated. 
1854. — ^Warren HMl opened. 
1854. — First fire cocmpany organized. 
1856.— Trinity P. E. ChuTch dedicated. 



References: The dhronologdcal record was mainly compiled from an old 
diary by Mr. Heman B. McKenzie. "Glimpses of Nearly One Hundred Yeaxs of 
Methodisan in Haverstraiw," by Bev. James M. Faulks, A. M. (1891). "Hisifcor- 
iaal Sketches of Rockland County Sabbath Schools," compiled by Hemnji B. 
McKenzie (1S84). Files of the Rockland County Mes.S'enger. "Reopening at 
Haverstranv," by Rev. .T. T. Crane (1861). County, Tmvn and Villaige Records. 
Beoolleotionis by Mr. Heman B.. McKenzie. Freeman Papers and Historical 
Dociunients loaned by Mr. W. A. Speck. Hist. Haverstiraw, by Rev. A. S. Free- 
matn, D. D., and W. S. Pelletreiau, M. A., in Coile's Rockland County. "New 
York ait Getltysburgh" — State Publication. "The Erection of Churches in 
Haverstraiw," by E. B. Weiant. "The Manufacture of Brick, Tiles and Terra 
Cotta," by Charles Thomias Davis. "The Chimes," a qaiarterly devoted to St. 
Peter's Church. For many of the statistics of local brick-making the pub- 
lishers are indebted to Mr. Josiah Felter. "Building Fund Souvenir" of the 
King's Daughters Society. 

For article on Haverstraw Schools the piiiblishers are indebted to Mr. L. 
Wilson. 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 345 



CHAPTEK XVII. 
TOWN OF OEANGETOWN. 

By A. W. VaJiKeiuren. 

Sturdy, indeed, and of good stock were the sixteen Hollanders who 
first came to settle in that part of this commonwealth now known as 
Orangetown, if one may judge by their descendants, some of whom still 
live in the town, and, hy diligence, honesty, frugality and perseverance, 
still hold portions of the land which their ancestors purchased from the 
Indians on March 24, 1G86. Indeed, the Orangetown of to-day would 
lose at least a part of its charm were it deprived of the Smiths, Coopers, 
and Harings who now live here and prosper on the domain which was 
included in the purchase of 1686. The ancestral stock was prolific and 
descendants of the sixteen original settlers, as generation after genera- 
tion has come, have spread to different quarters of the globe, but the 
fruits of the hardy Holland seed, sowed in this township when its his- 
tory was the early history of the county, are still seen and identified with 
numerous important interests here. 

The tract purchased by these first settlers was about eight miles in 
length and ranged from two to five miles in width. It extended south 
to a point which is now considerably below the northern boundary line 
of the State of New Jersey, and north by what in early days was known 
as the Greenbush swamp. The pretty range of mountains which extends 
from West Nyack to Sparkill — using the names by which those places 
are now known — formed the eastern boundary of the land purchased, 
while the Hackensack Creek bordered the property on the west side. 
This land, waiting to be tilled and made productive, was much cheaper 
then than it is now, for the purchase was confirmed by an instrument 
written under the hand of Governor Thomas Dongan of the Province 
of New York, in the reign of James II., the conditions being that the 
purchasers should agree to pay sixteen bushels of wheat every year to 
the King's representative in New York. The granters were: Cornelius 
Claas Cooper, Daniel DeClark, Peter Haring, Catye Haring, Gerritt 
Stemmitts, John Bevries, Sr., John Devries, Jr., Clause Maunde, John 



346 HISTORY OP ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Stratemaker, Staats DeGroat, Arian Lammerte, Lammert Ariansen, 
Iliiyborts Gemtts, Johannes Gerritts, Eide Van Vorst and Cornelius 
Laninierts. 

The above purchase of land was made from the Tappan Indians, and 
the gxant was known both as the Tappan Patent and Orangetown Pat- 
ent. In this patent was given the name of the town of Orange. At that 
time the division line between the colonies of New York and ISTew Jersey 
had not been agreed upon, and there had, it seems, been some dispute 
over it. When the division line was finally fonned satisfactorily, a part 
of the gTant was taken by Eiergen county, New Jersey, and the area of 
Orangeto^vn was cut down to 16.023 acres. 

The village of Tappan was duly organized by the Holland farmers 
of 16SC, and was the fii-st organized settlement within about forty miles 
north of the New Jersey line. They called the place Tappantown, and 
Tintil recently the ])ost office was knowa: by that name. Now, however, 
with two railroads running throiigh that historic region, Tai^pantown 
seemed too old fashioned for the population of these recent years, and 
the "town" was dropped from the name. 

Where the present village of Piermont is situated was known as 
Ta]ipan Landing. The creek which now bears the name of the Sparkill 
was then the Tappan Slote. 

What is now known as Rockland county was in the seventeenth cen- 
tury Orange county, and in 1693, when the first census was taken, 
Orange county had only 21 families and 219 inhibitants, all of whom 
lived in Orangetown. By the enumerations in years after that and up to 
1702, the population had increased in the latter year to 40 families — 
nearly doubling — while the entire population at that time was 268 — 
an increase of 49 in nine years. At that time slaves were owned by a 
number of the families, and for a great deal longer than a century after- 
ward, passing down from generation to generation, the same as the prop- 
ei-t,y owned by the inhabitants. These slaves, there is ever^' reason to 
believe, were well treated, and in some instances fared nearly as well as 
members of the families by whom they were kept, One of the largest 
and best farms settled in Orangetown in those early days is still owned 
and occupied by direct descendants of one of the early settlers, and has 
never gone out of the possession of some branch of the family. This 
property is known as the Gilbert: J). Pjlnuvelt farm, situated at Orange- 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 347 

burg, and it is now occupied by Mr. Edwin Lydecker, who is the pres- 
ent Supervisor of the town of Orangeto\\Ti. Mr. Lydecker's ^vife is the 
daughter of the late Gilbert D. Blauvelt. The latter was the son of 
David IX Blauvelt, who was the son of David Blauvelt. David Blau- 
velt was the son-in-law of Isaac Pcny, and Isaac Perry was the son of 
John Perry, who early in 1755 was the owner of a goodly number of 
slaves. Supervisor Lydecker has in his possession a bill of sale for a 
negro purchased by John Perry when the latter owned the fann, and 
this document has been sacredly prcsci'ved through the different genera- 
tions down to the present time. John Perry paid the sum of thirty-one 
pounds current money of New York "to Lawrence Jance Van Birkerpk, 
of the county of Bergen, I^ew Jersey, for one negro boy called Isaiah, 
to be sound, without any ailments." This bill of sale is dated April 7th, 
1755, and in signing it the seller of the negro said: "I have hereunto 
set my hand and seal this seventh day of April, in the twenty-eighth 
year of the reign of our Sovereign and Lord, King George the Second 
of Great Britain." 

A careful search through the census returns of Orangetown in its 
early history shows that its returns were for the entire county, and it is 
impossible at any time before the year 1738 to ascertain with any cer- 
tainty the number of inhabitants according to the limits of the towns. 
In 1738 Eager's History of Orange Coimty gives the population of each 
town, but no accurate census figures are found again until 1790. After 
this date, however, the census returns are returned regularly every ten 
years without interruption. In 1790 Orangetown's population was 
1,175; in 1800, 1,337; in 1810, 1,583; in is'so, 2,257; in 1825, State 
census, 1,586; in 1835, 2,079; in 1845, 3,227; in 1855, 5,838; in 1805, 
fi,ir.O; in 1870, IT. S. census, 6,810; in 1880, 8,206; in 1890, 10,-343; 
in 1900, 10,456. 

The customs of the early Dutch settlers of Orangetown were so dif- 
ferent from those followed at the present time, that when told they seem 
to the generation of the twentieth century like the tales of some iniknown 
land far beyond the sea. Tell the youth of 1902, who is inspired by the 
lightning methods of to-day and lives in hopes of greater discoveries in 
every year of his life, that in the early days of this township in which 
he. lives no fire was made in the church in which his far back ancestors, 
or the ancastors of some of his friends, worshipped in Winter, and he 



^' 



348 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

will shiver at the very thought ; but such is the fact. The older women 
kept their feet wann by means of foot stoves, but even then they must 
have shivered until their teeth chattered. There were no special prin- 
ciples of temperance in tliose days, and the men, when not clothed suffi- 
ciently to keep the cold air from penetrating to their bodies, stopped in 
a nearby tavern before church ser\'ice and fortified themselves with a 
goodly quaff of hot gin, so they might listen to the sennon \vith some 
comfort. Whether they really accomplished this mil never be known, 
but, in modem times at least, a glass of hot gin would not be sufficient 
to keep the average man at a church service with the mercury away 
below the freezing point. In Summer time it was doubtless more of a 
pleasure to attend church services, for the men and women came then 
early, gathered in small gTOups, or in a large crowd, on the lawn in front 
of the house of worship, and talked over their affairs with one another, 
and this promoted a social spirit which made life a little more worth liv- 
ing than if they had no relief from their daily hum-drum. 

Perhaps no change has been more marked since the days of the early 
settlers of Orangetown than that in the architecture of the houses, and 
yet in these first days of the twentieth century there appears to l)c a 
desire on the part of many to go back to the times of their ancestors for 
designs for at least a portion of a house they wish to bviild and occupy. 
In doing so, however, modern architecture, while accepting some of the 
ideas of the old Dutch builders, do not accept with them the discom- 
forts of the houses of the olden time, but instead, they introduced fea- 
tures of beauty and comfort of which the settlers of Orangetown never 
dreamed. The first houses erected were log cabins, with very large fire 
places. These were for cooking their food and warming the rooms. 
Years later houses of stone were built, and we still occasionally sec a few 
of these edifices in traveling through the town. The succeeding genera- 
tion improved upon these stone houses by building larger ones, with more 
rooms and large halls. These, too, were gradually changed, and eacli 
succeeding generation studied comfort and convenience more than the 
one which preceded it. The old stone houses, and then the log houses, 
gradually were abandoned by those who sought newer and better things, 
and then frame buildings of various designs sprang up here and 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 349 

there. Now one, in looking over the lands where the early settlers of 
Orangetown reared their families in humble structures, ^vith possibly 
all the comforts which then were suggested, sees some of the most beau- 
tiful styles of architecture that modem taste can design and modem 
skill can construct. 

Here and there, but growing scarcer every decade, one still finds 
evidences of the industry of the early settlers in the rare old spinning 
wheels that are kept almost sacred by the fortunate possessors. Ten 
years ago a Nyack physician, who has since removed to the city, took 
pride in searching out and buying up old spinning wheels and other arti- 
cles of the olden times, and secured an interesting collection of them. 
These things represent^^d a vast amoimt of toil, for there were no cotton 
or cotton mills in those times, and the spinning of wool and flax for cloth- 
ing was a necessity, while the weaving was done in the family. 

The first record fo\ind of a tovm election in Orangetown is that of 
the first Tuesday in April, 1744, and the first town officers were: Henry 
Ludlow, Town Clerk and Supervisor; John Cornelius Haring and John 
Ackerson, Overseers of the Fences; Dolph Lent, Constable; John Fer- 
don, John ISfagle, John Peny, Commissioners of the Highway; Overseers 
of the High Road: Robert Holley, for the Greenbush road; J. Bartus 
Blaufelt, for the wagon road; Daniel Vervelia, for Closter; Thomas Van 
Houtten, for Skeairday; Daniel Blaiifilt, for John Cloxis Sand; Johan- 
nis Bogart, for the mill road; Johannis Meyer, Pound Master; Rcmier 

Wortendyke, Dirck, and Fred Bogard, Assessors; John , Peter Dan, 

to rec'd the quit rent; Daniel S. Xineman and Cornelius Tallman, Over- 
seers of the Poor; Abraham Smith, Collector. 

Following is a list of Supervisors of Orangetown from 1722 to 1902: 
Rinear Kisanke, 1722; Cornelius Haring, 1723-'28; Comelius Smith, 
1729-'31; Barent Nagle, 1732-'33; Gabriel Ludlow, Jr., 1734-'39; 
Henry Ludlow, l740-'46; John Ferdon, 1747; Adolph Lent, 1748-'57; 
David Blauvelt, 1758-'59; Daniel Haring, 1760-'63; Abraham Haring, 
1764; Johannes Blauvelt, 1765; Thomas Ontwater, l766-'74; John M. 
Hogencamp, 1779, 1780, '83, 1796; Jonathan Lawrence, 1782; James 
Perry, 1797, 1800, '04; James Demarest, 1801; Samuel G. VerBryck, 
1802, '03, '06, '19, '28, '29; James Perry, 1804-5; John Perry, 1820; 
Richard Ellsworth, 1823; William Sickles, 1824-'27; Isaac J. Blauvelt, 



350 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

lS30-'34; Eenjamiu Blacklcdge, 1835-'3S; John Haring, Jr., 1839-'41; 
John J. Ilaring, 1842; John T. Blaiivelt, 1843-'45; John S. VcrBryck, 
184G-'47; Simon U. Demarest, 1848-'49; William G. Smith, 1850-'51; 
John C. Blauvelt, 1852-54; J. J. Lawrence, 1855; M. M. Dickman, 
185G-'57; Jajnes S. Haring, 1858, '63, 'G5, '71; William Dickey, 
1863-'64; Isaac M. Dedcrer, 1872-'73; D. D. Demarest, 1874-75; 
Henry A. Blauvelt, 1876-'79; Hagaman Onderdonk, 1882; George 
Dickey, 1880, '81, '83, '84, '85; Henry E. Smith, 1886; A. X. Fallon, 
1887, '08, '09, 1890, '91; C. V. A. Blauvelt, 1892-3; A. X. Fallon, 
1894, '95, '96, '97, '98, '99; James VanWeelden, 1900-1; Edwin 
Lydecker, 1902. 

VILLAGES OF ORAITGETOWN. 

If the history of the villages of Orangetown is to begin with that 
which was first started, it is necessary to first write of Tappan, biit the 
history of this pleasant little village, aside from its important identifica- 
tion with the days of the American Eevolution, will not be as long in 
print as the niimbcr of years of existence would suggest it might be. 
Tapi^au is the oldest village in Eockland county, and yet, in latter years, 
it has not made history as rapidly as other villages in the town. The 
early days of Tappan gave the place the fame which still clings to it. 
The larger villages of Nyack and Piermont have made their reputation 
through the channels of business since the days of the Revolution, but 
not so Tappan. While the hand of improvement has been at work in 
that village and vicinity, building up waste places and erecting on the 
slopes and hillsides a goodly number of beautiful homes, in some of 
which live worthy and refined families, and evidence of culture in music 
and art abound, yet the name of the place is seldom mentioned without 
tiu-ning the memory far backward, not only to the days when Washing- 
ton's Army was encamped there and the closing scenes of the Andre 
episode were enacted, but back still farther, to the days of the old"Mabie 
Inn," known since the Revolution as the '7G House. This house was 
the first tavern in this county, and in 1753 C'asparus Mabic purchased 
it from Cornelius ileyers, and kept it for many years. It was a favorite 
road house, even after other taverns sprang up, and from indications in 
this year of 1902, it promises to continue its popularity longer than the 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 351 

present generation will live, for it lias never been in better condition 
than now. Mabie sold the '7G House to Frederick Blauvelt, and in 
ISOO the latter disposed of it to Philip Duboy, who conducted it as a 
tavern for at least eighteen or twenty years. The record is not quite 
complete as to this. After Dubey died, the proprietors of the tavern who 
followed him were Thomas Wandle, Lawrence T. Snedin and Henry 
Eyerson. Dr. John T. Stephens purchased the property in 1857, and 
owned it for forty years. During the time it was in Dr. Stephen's pos- 
session the interior gradually went into decay, while a part of the exter- 
ior had a tumble-do\vn appearance. For several of the latter years of 
his life Dr. Stephens refused to allow any visitor into the old '70 House, 
and scores came there who went away disappointed. Some who had 
come hundreds of miles to visit the historic points in the East, when they 
found themselves at Tappan, would hasten to the '76 House, expecting 
to enter its doors and see the room where Andre had been kept, and 
where, years before the Revolution, travelers had gathered to refresh 
themselves with the beverages kept "on tap," but when they nsked 
for pennission to thus gratify their desire, the doctor would pleasantly 
but firndy refuse. The most notable incident of this kind occurred some 
sLx or seven years ago, when a large party of Historic Pilgiims who had 
started out to visit all the historic spots in the Eastern and Middle States, 
came to Tappan. This party fii-st went to Washington View Park, where 
General Washington's army was encamped for a long time. This park 
is now the property of Mrs. M. E. Barber, who, witli her brotlier, IMajor 
Harold, and her two sons, occupy the large mansion erected thereon a 
few years before. Here the pilgrims were well entertained and given 
all the information they desired. Their next objective point was the '7G 
Stone House, and approaching Dr. Stephens hopefully and pleasantly, 
they asked permission to enter the old house. Their sui-prise may be 
imagined when their request was refused. All pleading was in vain, and 
the pilgrims finally left, feeling the disappointment keenly. They then 
went to the house known as "Washington's Headquarters," which was 
built in 1700. John DeWint, a wealthy planter from the West Indies, 
purchased the pro]>erty in the middle of the eighteenth century. His 
children and grandcliildren occupied the house during tbe Revolution, 
and General Washing-ton selected it as his headquarters at different 
times when he stayed at Tappan. The last time he was in this house is 



352 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

believed to have beeu in tlie winter of 1783, when a fierce snow storm set 
in and detained him and several of his officers for a few days. 

The '7C Stone House has had an eventful history in the last five 
years. During a heavy gale of wind and rain a large part of the front 
of the building fell in, exposing to view the interior on the easterly side. 
As soon as tliis became known parties came for miles to get bricks from 
the fallen structure, but the owner soon piit a stop to this. Afterward 
Charles A. Pike, a well to do resident of Tappan, purchased the property 
for $2,000. He at once restored the wrecked side of the old house and 
employed skilled mechanics to make it stronger than it had been in a 
century or more. The large room on the north, in which Major Andre 
was imprisoned awaiting his doom, Mr. Pike had transformed into a ball 
room for dancing parties. He at first sold only temperance drinks over 
the bar where in olden times the old settlers had quenched their thirst 
with something a great deal stronger, and many parties, large and small, 
visited the place. Mr. Pike afterward procured a license to sell liquor 
and now, under the management of Proprietor CoUignon, wdio leases 
the place, the old '76 House is still conducted as a road house and has 
many visitors. 

On Andre Hill, where Cyinis W. Field had erected a monument 
to mark the spot where Andre was executed, bearing an inscription 
furnished by Dean Stanley, evidence still remains of the blowing up of 
the monument by an ardent patriot who objected to the words of eulogy. 
This property was sold for non-payment of taxes four years ago and was 
purchased by George Dickey of Nyack, who now represents Rockland 
Coimty in the Assembly at Albany. The taxes and fees were afterward 
paid by the ovTier of the property and the wrecked monument and the 
site upon which it stands were redeemed. The taxes due on the prop- 
erty the last year were paid, so, imexpectedly to some who attended the 
tax sale in December, 1901, it was not again put up for sale. 

BLAUVELT. 

Grccnbush was the pleasing name by which this village was known 
until the construction of the Erie road now known as the Piennont 
branch After that road was built the place was named after Judge 
Cornelius J. Blauvelt, who was the most prominent citizen of the neigh 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 353 

borhood. The first storekeeper there, so far as is known, was John Blau- 
velt, who was succeeded by Judge Blauvelt ; the latter was succeeded by 
Isaac Dedcrer, and he by Smith Demarest. The store passed from tlie 
hands of the latter into those of John Eaab, who conducted it uutil 
1882. Edebohls & Ledigcr built and opened a store in 1867. This firm 
continued the business uutil 1871, when Mr. Edebohls died, and Mr. 
Lediger became sole proprietor. 

Cornelius J. Blauvelt was the first Postmaster of Blauvelt, or Blau- 
veltville, as it was called for some years afterwa.rd. The post office was 
established on October 14, 1828. On April 9, 1834, the office was dis- 
continued, but on June 25th of the same year it was re-established, with 
Cornelius J. Blauvelt in charge. In 1840 Michael Klein was appointed 
Postmaster and in 1844 he was succeeded by Isaac M. Dedcrer. Teu 
years later Simon D. Demarest was given the position. He was fol- 
lowed by John Eaab, Henry Edebohls and George M. Lediger, and the 
present Postmaster is Louis J. Lediger, son of George M. Lediger, 
appointed in 1891. 

The Order of St. Dominic of ISTcw York city in December, 1878, 
purchased from Joseph Eustace thirty acres of land upon which to found 
a juvenile asylum for the care and education of poor children, intended 
at first for girls only. Several large buildings were erected thereon and 
hundreds of children fill them at the present time. In 1880, when the 
system of sewerage was extremely poor, a severe form of disease of the 
eyes appeared. Dr. E. L. Oatman, who made his home in Nyack, was 
employed as physician to the asylum. He attended the children and 
treated their eyes, and under his direction many sanitary improvements 
were made, so that the health of the inmates of the institution improved 
greatly. The first boy was brought to the institution while Dr. Oatman 
was physician there. The writer of this visited the asylum one Sunday 
with Dr. Oatman, and he was taken do^vn into the large dining-room 
while the children were at dinner. Seated at the tables were 350 girls 
and one boy, who seemed to enjoy the situation. 

The Order of St. Dominic extended its work further south, and a 
few years ago purchased a large piece of property of the Captain John- 
son estate, near Sparkill. Here they erected several buildings, of a not 
veiy substantial character, and at midnight on August 22nd, 1899, the 
main building caught fire and was burned to the gTound. The fire. 



3S4 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

wliicli broke out in one comer of the building, spread rapidly, but all 
but two of the children were saved by the Sisters, who worked heroically 
and can-ied out many of the sleeping or panic-stricken children. In the 
last year a larger and more substantial brick building has been erected, 
and a large euchre party took i^lace in New York early this year, under 
the auspices of the Order of St. Dominic, to help pay the expense. Over 
$4,000 was realized from this party. 

In 1809 the first school building was erected in Greenbush. In 1850 
the building was torn down, and the schoolhouse used at present occupies 
the same site. 

PALISADES. 

The pretty region of Palisades village, which has derived a goodly 
share of admiration because of its scenic beauty, is just now assuming 
additional importance because of the possibility of its becoming the 
northern terminus or turning point of the grand Boulevard that is to be 
constructed along the base of the Palisades, under the direction of the 
Palisades Commission. Those who founded the little village, fonnerly 
Iviiown as Sneden's, never dreamed of so important an attraction as a 
magnificent drive, constiiicted at the expense of the. great States of New 
York and New Jersey. 

There are some handsome residences in and about Palisades, and 
there is some historic interest attached to that region. There are still 
traces of the old military road from the ferry through groves of the Pal- 
isades to Fort Lee. Washington's spring is situated at the left of the 
road leading to the boat landing. This spring afforded Avater for the 
American forces who were stationed on a knoll to watch the movements 
of the British fleet, when General Washington expected them on their 
way to West Point from New York. There is still an old stone house 
near the village where Washington and Lafayette are said to have dined 
on one occasion or more during the Revolution. The original buildirif^ 
was erected by William Corbett in 1729 or 1730. It caiight fire some 
years afterward and was burned down, but was rebuilt with the original 
walls still standing. 

The original patent for the land in which the village of Palisades is 
included was granted by the British Government in the reign of King 



^ 




WILLIAM II. SPRINGSTEEN. 



TOWN OP ORANGETOWN. 3SS 

James tlie Second, dated Febniary, 1685. The area of laud in this pat- 
ent was 3,410 acres, extending from Piermont to Closter. At that time 
the forest along the Palisades was known as the King's Woods. 

The present village is tastefully laid out, having wide avenues, well 
shaded by large trees. The village has a public park. The name of the 
place at the river was formerly Sneden's Landing, so called after Law- 
rence J. Sneden, who died many years ago. A man names Dobbs ran 
a ferry from this point across the river more than 120 years ago, and 
from this the village across the river, Dobbs Ferry, ultimately took 
its name. 

OEANGEBUEG. 

Orangeburg is a small village half way between Sparkill and Blau- 
velt, on the Piermont Branch of the Erie Eailroad, and it is also inter- 
sected by the West Shore Eailroad, which has a station here. The plant 
of the Eockland Electric Light and Power Company, of which S. E. 
Bradley is the principal ovraer, is located at Orangeburg, and from this 
point electric light is distributed over one-half of Eockland county and 
through the upper part of Bergen county, N. J. The only other bus- 
iness carried on here is farming — principally dairy farming. 

OEANGEVILLE. 

Orangeville is a short distance from Orangeburg, and is a small ham- 
let, with a number of pleasant dwellings. 

PEAEL EIVEE. 

w^^ Pearl Eiver, which 18 or 20 years ago was a small hamlet, has since 
that time grown into an active, bustling village, where considerable bus- 
iness is done. The principal industiy is the Dexter Folder Works, 
which employs several hundred men. Pearl Eiver is also the center of 
a flower raising district from which thoiisands of the finest roses seen 
in the New York market arc sent. In the building now occupied by the 
Dexter Folder Company, J. E. Braunsdorf, when electric ligMs wei-e 
first introduced, had associated with him Professor Maxim, the well- 
known inventor, who gave the first exhibition of electric lighting in 
Eockland county before a large and interested audience, of whom the 
wi-iter of this article was one. 



356 HISTORY OF ROCKL,AND COUNTY. 



NYACK. 



The name Nyack is of Indian derivation, and perhaps it is because 
of that fact that the inhabitants of tliis beautiful vilhnge at the present 
day have a fondness for the name which they can hardly express. Indian 
names, in the smallest degree euphonious, possess a charm which more 
modern titles have not, and the name Nyack mil probably designate 
this region long after, in the distant future, it has become more thickly 
populated and rejoices in the qualifications and title of a busy, bustling 
city. That the name Nyack came from a tribe of Indians on Long 
Island tliei"e is no doubt, for the present Gravesend Bay was called 
Nyack Bay early in the seventeenth century, and it appears from the 
only records that can be found relating to the subject, that the name 
of Nyack disappeared entirely from that section and was brought to this 
village on the Hudson. An old deed unded date of 1764 spells the name 
Niack, and later a "y" was substituted for the "i," and the name since 
has been Nyack. 

Claes Jansen, in 1761, and Harmann Dows — now Tallman — and 
Tunis Paulsen, previous to 1678, were the earliest patentees of this vil- 
lage, according to the records which still exist. Nyack as a callage grew 
very slowly in its earliest days — in fact, no boom was ever seen here 
until after the opening of the Nyack and Northern Eailroad, in 1870. 
In 1799 the property lying between the present First avenue on the 
north and DePew avenue on the south was purchased by Abraham 
Lydecker for $84. This property now constitutes in length six of the 
most valuable blocks in the whole town of Orangetown, and on some 
parts of that tract the sum of $4,000 to-day would not pay for a large 
building lot on Broadway. The records show that at that time the 
entire district from the Hook Mountain to where the Wayside Chapel 
now stands was divided into ten farms. These were owned by Michael 
Comelison, St., Abram Tallman, Tunis Harman Tallman, GaiTct Sar- 
vent, John VanHouten, Benjamin Knapp, the late Hugh Maxwell — 
now occupied by the Nyack Country Club — Henry Palmer, Jeremiah 
Williamson,, Aurey Smith and his brother, John Smith. A gate stood 
at the end of each fann north of Main street, and the last one was 
removed from the comer of the present First avenue in 1810, while the 
last, at the property now owmed by James P. McQuaide, remained until 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 3S7 

35 or 40 years ago. It was in 1790 when what had previously been a 
private road between Nyack and Piennont was recogTiized as a public 
road, and while along this highway, now famous as the "river road," a 
few of the original old houses, or parts of them, still stand, numerous 
handsome residences have been built in later years, affording one of the 
most beautiful drives along the Hudson river. It is here where the 
strongest opposition to a trolley road is now found, because, the residents 
say, "it mil spoil this beautiful drive." 

Nyack had no direct communication with the inland country until, 
in 1827, the Nyack turnpike was opened by an act of the Legislatui'e. 
The steamboat Orange was built at about this same period, and the little 
village, or more properly, hamlet, Ix-gan growing, although in 1830, its 
population, taking in the whole territory now included in the three 
Nyacks, was only 300 — the number of an average at a single church 
sersdce in Nyack at the present time, when the weather is not stormy. 

The first store in Nyack was opened in 1804, by Abram Tallman, 
on the site of the present Sherman House, a short distance above the 
Burd street steamboat landing. Tunis Smith, grandson of Lammert 
Ariansen Smidt, opened the next store, on lower Main street, in 1810, 
and others followed in after years. In 1833 D. D. Demarest opened a 
store and lumber yard at the present steamboat dock, and in 1839 he 
opened the store, now vacant, opposite the Eefonned Church. Mr. Dem- 
arest, who since that time served several times as County Treasurer of 
Rockland county^ died of apoplexy on April 18th of the present year, 
in liis 89th year. 

Nyack has probably had a more varied experience in the way of 
incorporation than any other village along the Hudson river, if not in 
New York State. In the year 1870 a public meeting of the citizens was 
called to vote upon a proposition to incorporate into a village, the boun- 
daries of which would extend from the Hook Mountain on the north 
to the "Bight," covering a tract three miles in leng-th. This proposition 
was defeated by a large majority. Shortly afterward the Village of 
Upper Nyack was incorporated, extending from the beginning of the 
C'larkstown road on the south to tlie TTook Mountain. This cut off about 
one-half of the area incliuled in the first Nyack incorporation proposi- 
tion which was defeated. In 1872 Nyack was incorporated without this 
upper hnlf, with the following citizens as its first officers: President, 



358 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Daniel D. Demarest; Trustees, Isaac Vervalen, David S. Crane and 
Charles E. Hunter; Treasurer, William B. Collins; Clerk, William T. 
B. Storms; Collector, Isaac W. Canfield. The Messrs. Vervalen, Crane, 
Collins, Canfield and Storms are now dead. 

Trouble some time afterward arose because of differences among 
the taxpayers, arising from the fact that the largest expenditure of 
money from taxes was in the upper part of the village and in the business 
section, while the people in the lower section — now South Nyack — com- 
plained that their part of the corporation did not receive the attention 
to wliich it was entitled, by virtue of the taxes paid in that portion of the 
village. In 1875 some of the largest taxpayers, including Commodore 
William Voorhis, Cornelius T. Smith, Azariah Ross, Tunis DePew and 
others, started a movement to break iip the corporation. In response to 
a mandamus from the Supreme Court, a meeting of citizens was called 
to vote on the question whether the incoi-poration of the village should 
continue, but as the vote was about to begin, the proceeding was stopped 
by an injimction served on the Trustees. Finally, however, after two 
years of litigation and trouble which engendered much hard feeling 
and frccjuent hard words, a meeting was held in 1876, when the incor- 
poration was voted down by a large majority — about four to one. 

The people of South Nyack, on May 2oth, 1878, by a vote which 
was almost unanimous, decided to incoi-porate by themselves the district 
from Cedar Hill avenue on the north to the southerly boundary line 
of C. T. Smith's property, and west by the old j^yack Patent line, tak- 
ing in an area of nearly one square mile. At the first election, June 22, 
1878, the following officers were chosen: President, GaiTet Van Noa- 
trand; Trustees, John G. PeiTy, Richard J. Lyeth and Grenville D. Wil- 
son; Treasurer, William C. Moore; Collector, Tunis D. Seaman; Clerk, 
Charles H. Meeker. Of these gentlemen Messrs. Seaman and Meeker 
are the only ones now living. The present officers of South Nyack are: 
President, Howard VanBuren; Trustees, Valentine Mott, D. D. Sher- 
man, John Rooney; Treasurer, C. A. Chapman; Collector, Howard R. 
Bti'ownc; Clerk, Joseph T. Kelly; Police Justice, William V. McKinim. 

The incorporation of South Nyack left Nyack alone, between the 
upper and lower villages, an unincorporated section, and on February 
27, 1883, this village was incorporated, its first officers under the new 
incorporation being: President, William DeGi-oat; Trustees, John A. 




JOHN D. BLAUVELT. 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 3S9 

Burke, Edwin B. Sippell and Geoi'ge F. Morse; Treasurer, Nicholas C. 
Blauvelt; Collector, GaiTct W. Hart; Clerk, Edward C. Cole. The 
Messrs. DeGroat and Blauvelt have since died, and Edward H. Cole has 
continued as Village Clerk ever sinc« until April, 1902, an evidence of 
his ofHciency and fitness for the position. 

The present ofHoers of Nyack are: President, Abram Myers; Trus- 
tees, John H. Post, Howard Garner, Martin Schupner, Cornelius Van 
Tassell; Collector, Edward Phillips; Treasurer, John M. Gesuer; Clerk, 
James Kilby. 

The population of Nyack village by the census of 1900 was 4,275. 

GEAND VIEW. 

The village of Grand View was incorporated September 15, 1900. 
The present officers are: President, Josepli B. Ellicott; Trustees, Henry 
P. Stamford, J. E. Carpenter; Treasurer, John W. Ingram; Collector, 
Peter McMillan; Clerk, Alfred K. Gavey. 

INDUSTBIES OF NYACK. 

The manufacture of shoes has since the early years of the nineteenth 
centuiy been an important industry in Nyack. The fii-st man to embark 
in the business was William H. Perry, who started a shoe manufactory 
in 1S26. Daniel Buit was the first to follow in this business, and he 
associated with him Edward and Xathaniel Buit, conducting the busi- 
ness for a few years. Finally the brothers separated, each starting for 
himself. 

Austin & Buri", successors to Edward Burr, started in 1855, and a 
few months later they took in another partner, James F. Dezendorf, the 
firm then being Austin, Burr & Co. This company was finally dissolved 
and George Cooke followed in the business in 1864. The firm of 
Ketchcll, Caywood & Burr was formed in 1857, and after continuing 
two years, John Burr withdrew and started for himself. 

In 1867 Ketchell & CayTvood started in the shoe business and erected 
the large brick building which still stands at the corner of Bailroad and 
DePew avenues. Tliis firm was siu^ceeded by Ketcliell i*^' Purdy, who, 
after doing a prnsjicrous business for a few years failed, and both 
removed from town. 



360 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

George T. and C. Morrow after that became the most extensive 
slioe mannfactnrers in Nyack, beginning their business in ISTO. In 
1879 they erected a large brick buikling at the corner of ('edar Hill 
and Eailroad avenues and conducted a large business for several years, 
when they failed. Their failure was deeply felt, for they employed a 
large niunber of hands and paid good wages. The Morrow factory made 
a finer grade of goods than some of the smaller establishments. 

C. B. Kennedy began the manufacture of shoes in 1875 on Broad- 
way, and in a few years he failed and removed from toAvn. He is at 
present engaged in business at Peekskill. 

Conrad Doersch began the manufacture of shoes in 1878. ITe car- 
ried on business for several years in the building corner of Uailrond and 
DePew avenues and then ei-ectcd the brick building on Kailroad avenue 
south of Hudson avenue. In 1890 he went into bankruptcy, but his 
affairs have since been settled, and he is still caiTying on the business of 
maniifacturing shoes. 

William E. Tuttle & Co. began the manufacture of shoes in a frame 
building comer of Eailroad and Hudson avenues in 1876. A few years 
later Mr. Tuttle put up a large Ijrick building at the corner of Jackson 
avenue and North Mill street, wlierc he has since done a prosperous bus- 
iness. In the year 1901 the Tuttle Shoe Company was formed and dur- 
ing the present season the lai-ge Morrow factory has, through the efforts 
of the ISTyack Board of Trade, been leased for five years, and has been 
put in condition to carry on the manufacture of shoes more exten- 
sively than it has been done in years. Morse & Rogers, the well known 
shoe dealers of JSTew York, are interested in this company. 

Charles Theis began the manufacture of shoes in the Ernst block, 
comer of Main and Franklin streets, in 1879. He aftei-ward erected a 
large brick building at the foot of Burd street, near the steamboat land- 
ing, and after continuing business there for a few years, he failed and 
went to Florida to live. Three years ago he and his family returned and 
they now have a shoe store on Broadway, under the firm name of O. F. 
Theis & Co. 

Jacob Scott earned on the shoe manufacturing business for a few 
years, starting on Main street, in 1879. 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 361 

The largest shoe factory Imilding that I^yack has ever had was that 
which Andrew H. Jaeknian erected on Cedar Hill avenue, corner of 
Railroad avenue. Mr. Jackman started in business here in 1876 and for 
several years employed a large number of hands, both men and women. 
During the latter years of his business here there were several extensive 
strikes among his employes, and he finally resolved to leave town, which 
he did, and then went to Poughkeepsie. His large factoiy building 
has since that time been occupied by various industries. Three years 
ago A. W. Sexsmith & Co., of ISTew York, manufacturers of cabinet 
work, leased the two first floors of the building and did a good business 
for several months, when they were obliged, through lack of capital, it 
was said, to give up. Percy Moore occupied the upper part, of the build- 
ing in the manufacture of shirt waists, but went to New York a couple 
of yeare ago. Mr. Moore had cai-ried on his biisiness in other buildings 
in Nyack for several years before, and the cause of his leaving was said 
to be his inability to get a sufficient nmuber of girls here to do his work. 

In 1900 the Peerless Finishing Company came to ISTyack in a very 
quiet manner, to can-y on their business of dyeing and finishing silk 
goods for millinery trimmings. They leased the old DePew brick build- 
ing, familiarly known as the shoddy mill, and started in their business 
with some forty or fifty hands, men and women. The same year they 
found it necessary to erect a frame building, 150 feet long, on the prem- 
ises. Early in 1901 they purchased of the Xyack National Bank the 
lai-ge Jackman biiilding, on Cedar Hill avenue, and shortly afterward 
they bought the brick building on Railroad avenue occupied for years 
by E. L. Wright & Co., manufacturers of sleighs and caniages. The 
Peerless Company have put both buildings in good condition for their 
business and in addition they have erected another building on their 
property. They have the most costly machineiy in Nyack, are doing an 
extensive business and it is believed they will in the near future add 
more property to their present pos-sessions. The company have plenty 
of capital and pay their way. 

Boat building was, in past years, an important industry in Nyack. 
James E. Smith opened his shipyard, foot of Fourth avenue, in 1SG7, 
and cf)nducted it for years, building many boats, a numl>er of them well- 
known. Fjion IMr. Smith's death his business was continued by his son, 
John P. Smith. The latter was compelled by circumstances to go into 



362 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

bankruptcy a coiiple of years ago. He has since received his discharge, 
mill last winter a company was formed, with a capital stated to be $]()(),- 
OOO, to cany on the boat manufacturing business under the firm name of 
the John P. Smith Company. 

William Dickey canied on the boat building business in Nyack for 
years. In 1863 he built two st«amboats for the Camden & Amboy Rail- 
road Company, and in 1865-6 he built the steamer Chrystenah, now 
owned by the North River Steamboat Company and still nmning on her 
route between Peekskill, New York, Haverstraw, Nyack, TaiTytown and 
Yonkers in the Spring, Summer and Aiitiunn. William Dickey's son, 
the Hon. George Dickey, is now Rockland county's Assemblyman at 
Albany. 

The piano mauufactiu-ing business was once quite an industry in 
Nyack, starting back in 1832, when John Tallman had the first factory. 
Others who afterward engaged in the business were Thompson & Ross, 
in 1850, and, later, Sumner Sturtevant. The factory building occupied 
by the above manufacturers, comer of Broadway and Third avenue, is 
now owned by Francis J. X. Tallman, avIio deals in pianos and manufac- 
tures pipe organs. Mr. Tallman has, in the last five or six years, made 
organs for churches in different parts of this State and in other States, 
some of them far distant. ]\I. A. Clark, fonnerly in the employ of Mr. 
Tallman, recently began the manufacture of organs in his own name, his 
factory being situated on the top of the South Mountain. Mr. Clark i-e- 
cently finished a large pipe organ — the largest in Rockland county — for 
the new Nyack Refomicd Church, and it was placed in the church Inst 
IMarch. 

Among some of the early industries of Nyack were included Copies- 
ton's and Puff's straw hat factories, both of which went out of existence 
several years ago. Puff's was opened in 1880 and Copleston's in 1881. 
In the '50's and for a number of years later Henry and Abram Stonns 
successfully earned on the manufacture of woodenware and gave em- 
ployment to a large UTimber of men. In 1850 William Cnimbie & Sons 
started the Nyack Foundry, which, in 1863, was purchased by Thomas 
Magee, who carried on the business for more than twenty years. Since 
that time John Kane has for several years can-ied on a successful busi- 
ness in the same line and is located on lower Eurd street, near the steam- 
boat landing. 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 363 

Aaron L. Christie established the carriage and wagon making busi- 
ness in Nyack in 1835 and conducted it successfully until he gave it up 
in 1871, when he was succeeded by the present well-known firm of A. E. 
& J. H. Christie, who still carry on the business in their large establish- 
ment on Liberty street, from Church street to Jackson avenue. Aaron 
Taylor and E. L. Wright also carried on the carriage and sleigh business 
here for years, but the Messrs. Christie are now the only manufacturers 
in Nyack in that line. 

One of the most important industries of Nyack in recent years was 
the boat building business of Charles L. Seabury & Company, at the foot 
of Main street, which had a prosperous existence here for aboiit eight 
years, and then became consolidated with another and larger industry in 
the same line and removed to Morris Heights, N. Y. Seabury & Co. 
came to Nyack in 1889 and erected the building at the extreme foot of 
Main street, on the north side, extending to the water. Building steam 
yachts and launches was the business of this firm, and their business rap- 
idly increased and their quarters were extended. They purchased the old 
Canfield place, west of their works, and erected a large building for their 
macliine shop and oifice. They also occupied the large building at the 
foot of the street on the south side, and their works was among the bus- 
iest places along the Hudson river. Wliile here they turned out many 
fine boats and earned a wide reputation. In the year 1897 the Gas En- 
gine and Power Company, of New York city, with which Mr. Seabury 
had been intimately associated for years, urgently requested the Seabury' 
Company to consolidate with them in their yards at Morris Heights, 
New York. Mr. Seabury, after considering the matter carefully and 
concluding that it would be well for him to go where he could have 
deeper water and build larger craft than his place here would accommo- 
date, decided to go, and during the Fall of 1897 the company rcmovetl 
all their machinery, stock, etc., to Morris Heights, where the consolidated 
companies have since been engaged a large part of the time in making 
torpedo boats and other craft for the U. S. Government. As the com- 
jiany's pay roll in Nyack amounted to from $1,000 to $1,200 weekly, 
the loss caused by the company's removal was felt in the village. 

Two other industries, which have located here within the last year, 
now occupy a part of the Seabury property. One of these is the Carbo 



364 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Mangeii Company, which manufactures a material for tempering metals 
in a superior manner, and tlie other is the Church Motor and Launch 
Company. 

C. W. Strong came to Nyack in 1896 and began the manufacture of 
paper boxes. In 1900 he purcliased land and erected a large factory at 
the comer of Washington and Burd streets, where he now cames on an 
extensive business and employs a large number of girls. 

Richard E. King, who hiis carried on the manufacture of shoes in 
ISTyack for several years, purchased a building on Jackson avenue and 
Wasliing-ton street in September, 1899, and built an extension upon it 
which made it of sufficient size for his business, which is now very exten- 
sive and one of Nyack's most important industries. 

The ISTyack Knitting Company began the manufacture of knitted 
goods in !N"yack in 1899, and now liavc a large and successful establish- 
ment in the Ernst building. 

The Doetsclmiann Manufacturing Company, perfumery makers, es- 
tablished their business on Railroad avenue in 1900. 

THE NYACK BOARD OF TRADE. 

The Nyack Board of Trade, an organization formed for the puqjose 
of aiding the financial interests of the town, was organized at a meeting 
held at the office of Judge A. S. Tompkins, on the evening of June a 3, 
189C. Judge Tompkins was chosen Chairman, and Tunis S. Dutcher 
was Secretary. The necessary preliminary business was transacted, and 
temporary officers were elected to serve until the annual election in Oc- 
tober. Two or three meetings were held during the Summer and several 
propositions were received from out-of-town firms which desired to locate 
in Nyack, but none of them were accepted. The first regular officers 
were elected on the evening of Oct. 13, 1890, as follows: 

President — J. W. Callahan. 

Vice-President — J. C. Gregory. 

Treasurer — William J. Randolph. 

Secretary — Tunis S. Dutcher. 

Directors — R. H. M. Dickinson, A. M. Voorhis, J. W. Dalley, C. E. 
Smith, John D. Blauvelt, T. F. Odell, E. Op]x>nheimer, M. W DePaun, 
A. S. Tompkms, M. Sayres, Charles A. ]\Iorrcll. 

The object of the Board of Trade, as stated in its by-laws, is to "ad- 
vance the interests of Nyack, to build u]i its trade, increase its attractions 




WILLIAll J. KANDULPH. 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 365 

and the value of its property, promote the establishment of manufactories 
within its bountlaries, or its vicinity, and to induce strangei-s to make it 
their homes." The organization, at the expense of hundreds of dollai*s, 
has worked hard to cany out the object as stated, and has succeeded in a 
large degree. In a very few instances industries which were brought to 
Nyack by the Board of Trade have not remained, because of circum- 
stances which the Board could not control; but through the work of the 
organization many thousands of dollars have been brought to the town 
and circulated through the channels of business. 

One of the principal industries established here the first of January, 
1897, was the Nuttall Manufacturing Company, makers of bicycles. A 
large biisiness was carried on by this finn until the Fall of 1900, when 
the manufactory was absorbed by the Bicycle Trust, and the establish- 
ment here closed. During the early part of the present year, 1902, the 
Morrow factory building, fonnerly occupied by the Nuttall Company, 
was lea.sed, through the Board of Trade, to tlie Tuttle Shoe Com- 
pany, for a large extension of the shoe manufacturing business of that 
company, the Board raising the sum of $2,70G toward fitting up the 
building. 

The Board of Trade was instrumental in bringing the A. W. Sex- 
smith cabinet making firm to Nyack, but that company did not remain. 
The Nyack Knitting Company, w^hich now does a handsome business, 
was also brought here by the Board of Trade, and several local manufac- 
turers have also been assisted by the organization which still continiies 
its good work. 

The present officers and Directors of the Board of Trade ai-e: 

President — John D. Blauvelt. 

Vice-President — Charles A. Morrell. 

Treasiirer — Isaac Neisner. 

Secretary- — ^Alfred Themans. 

Directors— M. W. DeBaun, J. D. Blauvelt, T. F. Odell, George B. 
Helmle, A. S. Tompkins, W. II. White, C. A. Morrell, A. M. Vooriiis, 
J. W. Dalley, Victor Ackerman. 

THE NYACK POST-OFFICE. 

With the present up-to-date system of handling and delivering the 
mail of the Nyack Post-office, it seems hard to realize that Nyack's first 



366 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

mail, iu more primitive days, was kept in a cigar box, and persons inquir- 
ing after lettci's were handed tlic box and pennitted to do their own sort- 
ing, but such was the case. John Van Houten was the firet Postmaster, 
and in 1835 he opened the first Post-office in his store at the binding at 
Upper !Ryack. As the mails were brought to and taken from this place 
by steamboats, there were not many "rush hours" during each day iu this 
branch of Uncle Sam's mail service. Samuel Canfield, who kept the Dry 
Dock Hotel, corner of Main and Canfield (now Gedney) streets, was ap- 
pointed in 1836, and established the office at his place of business above 
named. Charles Humphrey was the next Postmaster, in 1844, and he 
was succeeded by William B. Collins from 1849 to 1853. Daniel D. 
Demarest was Postmaster from 1853 to 1861, and his office was at the 
comer of Broadway and Burd street, in the store owned by him. 

President Lincoln, in 1861, appointed Aaron L. Christie Post- 
master, and, the Kepublican administration contiiraing, Mr. Christie 
lield the position until his death, in July, 1880. His daughter, Sarah L. 
Christie, being familiar with the Post-office work, was then appointed 
and kept the position until Orlando Humphrey was appointed by Presi- 
dent Cleveland, in July, 1885. After President Han-ison was elected. 
Miss Christie was again appointed. When Cleveland was elected the 
second time, he appointed Philip Doersch Postmaster. 

George B. Helmle, the present Postmaster, was appointed by Presi- 
dent McKinley on January 13, 1899, and he began work at once to es- 
tablish free delivery, which had been talked of for several months. The 
villag'e was found to have the necessary qualifications for free delivei-y, 
and the service began on May 1st, 1899. Postmaster Helmle had the 
office thoroughly refitted, at considerable expense, with the very latest 
fixtures and appliances, and the free delivery service proved very sucess- 
ful and satisfactory. The Upper Nyack Post-office was abolished and 
free delivery was extended to the Hook. On July 14, 1901, free deliv- 
ery was extended to Grand View, and the Post-office there, which had 
been under the charge of the late William H. Piatt, Postmaster, for over 
twenty years, was abolished. There are now six carriers. The receipts 
of the ISTyack Post-office at this time average more than $15,000 per 
year. It is the only Post-office in the county that is entitled to and has 
free delivery, and on July 1st free delivery was extended to Central 
E^yack. 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 367 

NYACK EXTENSIVELY OEGANIZED. 

Nyack has a large number of societies, secret, and otherwise. Almost, 
if uot quite, everyoue in the town belong-s to some oryanizatiou. The 
oldest of these is Oneko Lodge, No. 122, Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows, which was organized March 28, 1848. In 1867 Rockland Encamp- 
ment, a higher branch of the order, was organized, and in ISGl) Euth 
Lodge, Eebekah Degree, was instituted. 

Eockland Lodge, No. 723, F. & A. M., was organized on July 16, 
1872. Eockland Chapter, No. 204, E. A. M., was organized in 
April, 1867. 

Following is a complete list of secret societies in Nyack, with the 
names of the head oiHcer and secretary of each : 

Eockland Lodge, No. 723, F. & A. M.— J. DuPratt White, Master; 
E. S. Bald\vin, Secretary. 

Eockland Chapter, No. 204, E. A. M.— E. II. Cole, II. P.;, A. E. 
Chi-istie, Secretary. 

Oneko Lodge, No. 122, I. O. O. F.— John Dondero, N. G. ; Ira Sea- 
man, Secretary. 

Eockland Encampment, No. 37, I. O. O. F. — E. S. Hemingway, C. 
P.; A. G. Garrison, Scribe. 

Euth Eebekah Lodge, No. 4, I. O. 0. F.— Mrs. E. Noll, N. G.; 
Mrs. J. S. Halstead, Secretaiy. 

Grant Lodge, No. 385., K. of P.— G. J. Lawrence, C. C; II. W. 
Kirk]5atrick, K. of E. and S. 

Waldron Post, No. 82, G. A. E. — Henry E. Smith, Commander; 
J. A. Burke, Adjutant. 

Woman's Eelief Coi-ps — Mrs. Martha J. Scott, President; Mrs. Mary 
Sutton, Secretary. 

Nyack Tribe, No. 209, I. O. E. M.— C. Boldt, Jr., Sachem; Henry 
Kirkpatrick, C. of E. 

Chaska Council, No. 40, D. of P. — Mi-s. M. Lapp, Pocahontas; Mrs. 
M. J. MacArthur, C. of E. 

Tappan Zee Council, No. 225, F. of A.— James Mitchell, C. R.; 
W. V. Lott, Secretary. 

Hudson Forest Circle, No. 428, C. of E.— Mrs. M. Blauvelt, C. C. ; 
Mrs. I. Minford, Secretary. 



368 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

ISTyack Couucil, No. 248, A. L. of H. — James P. Cooke, Com- 
mander; N. M. Kosch, Secretaiy. 

Nyack Council, Royal Arcanum — J. P. Graham, Eegeut; L. O. 
Gregory, Secretary. 

Carpenters and Joiners' Union, Xo. 474 — George Milton, President; 
Jerome Ilasbrouek, Secretary. 

Nyack Lodg«, No. 308, D. O. II.— Oswald Luleicli, O. B.; Jacob 
Hausennan, Secretary. 

Germania Benevolent Society — A. Ginter, President; August 
Wesel, Secretary. 

NYACK'S MUSICAL ORGANIZATIONS. 

The spirit of organization which has been manifested in so many dif- 
ferent fonns in Nyack has during the last forty years pervaded the 
musical circles of the place. The first musical societies formed in Nyack 
were organized during the early days of the Civil War. John V. Bun- 
formed a club for the singing of patriotic music, including all the best 
known musicians of the neighborhood. Within the first year of the 
organization there was a division and a new society was formed, called 
the Excelsior Glee Club, imder the leadership of Aaron R. Wheeler. 
Both societies prospered and continued during the war. 

No permanent musical organization was formed here after that time 
until 1880, when the Nyack Choral Society was organized and had an 
existence of eighteen years, winning fame as one of the leading miisical 
societies along the Hudson river. The following officers were elected at 
its formation: President, William C. Moore; Vice President, Qucntin 
]\IcAdam; Secretary and Treasurer, William P. McCorkle; Conductor, 
Grenville D. Wilson; Directors, Mrs. G. S. Mann, Mrs. J. O. Polhemus, 
John A. Burke, James B. Simonson and George O. Martine. Officers 
were elected every year after that, ending with 1897, when, on Septem- 
ber 20tli of that year. Prof. Wilson, the conductor, died suddenly, after 
nearly eighteen years of devoted service in advancing the cause of music 
in Rockland county. In 1871 seventy members of the Nyack Choral 
Society assisted Dr. Damrosch in giving his great May Music Festival 
in the new Seventh Regiment armory, New York city. The Nyack 
Pliilharmonic Sosiety was organized by Prof. Wilson in connection with 
the Choral Society, but lived only a few years. 




A. THEMANS. 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 369 

In 1900 the Nyack Musical Society was organized, with Hemy P. 
JSToll as conductor, and the following officers: President, George E. 
Baldwin; Vice President, George V. H. Blauvelt; Secretary, Jacob 
Bollinger, Jr.; Treasurer, George B. Helmle; Librarian, G. Edwin 
Gregory, W. W. Schupner; Directors, G. E. Baldwin, G. B. Helmle, 
G. E. Gregory, G. V. H. Blauvelt, Jacob Bollinger, Jr., Lincoln J. 
Stewart, Harry W. Dippel, Miss Adele Guerber, Miss May S. Blauvelt, 
Mrs. Milton Sayres. This society has given four concerts since its or- 
ganization. 

The Nyack Comet Band was organized by Frederick ISToll, the 
leader, in November, 1879. The band is still in existence, with 
Alphonse Bombard as leader. There are two other musical organizations 
in town, the Nyack Orchestra, under the direction of Miss Mabel Bab- 
cock, and the orchestra of the Young Men's Christian Association. 

NYACK'S THEEE BANKS. 

The present Nyack National Bank, which has had a prosperous 
career of twenty-four years last March, is the third banking institution 
in the history of this town. The first was the Rockland County Bank, 
which was opened in the building which still stands on the southeast 
comer of Burd street and Piermont avenue (then Court street), on June 
23, 1860. It became a National Bank in 1863, and a few years later 
removed to the Commercial building, in the quarters now occupied 
by the Nyack National Bank. In 1878 the old bank was obliged to go 
into liquidation because of the faihire of the North Eiver and New 
York Steamboat Company, whose paper it held for many thousands of 
dollars. The closing of the bank caused a sensation all through Eock- 
land county, for people in nearly every village in the county were inter- 
ested. David J. Blauvelt was President and A. D. Morford was cashier. 
A meeting of the stockholders was called and held in the rooms now 
occupied by Waldron Post, G. A. E., on the second floor of the Commer- 
cial building, and a stormy time ensued. The writer of this article was 
present at that meeting and well remembers some of the bitter words 
spoken. President Blauvelt urged that the bank be allowed to resume 
business with capital reduced one-half. This was opposed. A settle- 



370 HISTORY OF KOCKLAND COUNTY. 

mcut of the bank's affairs was fiually permitted, aud the depositoi-s 
received, in several dividends, the greater part of their deposits, bnt the 
stockhoklers lost heavily. 

The present Nyack National Bank was incoiiiorated in March, 1878, 
with a capital of $50,000. The first directors and officers wore: Wil- 
liam C. Moore, President; Charles A. Chapman, Cashier; S. R. Bi-adley, 
Endolph Lexow, J. H. Weddle, Qnentin McAdam, William Voorhis, 
George C. Stephens and Peter K. Knapp, Directors. This bank has 
always been free from even a suspicion of weakness and occupies a posi- 
tion of honor and strength among the best banking institutions in the 
State. Its present officers and directors are: President, Charles A. 
Chapman; Cashier, John M. Gesner; C. A. Chapman, S. R. Bradley, 
George C. Stephens, Rudol]")h Lexow, A. M. Voorhis, S. E. Bradley, 
Jr., and J. M. Gesner, Directors. 

The Rockland County Savings Bank, located in ISTyack, was incor- 
porated April 14, 1871. In the summer of 1887 it became insolvent 
with a loss of $38,000. William J. Green was appointed Receiver, and 
through his attorney. Gen. Robert Aver>', Sanuiel W. Canfield, Pre.si- 
dent, and Richai'd P. Eells, Secretary and Treasurer, were indicted by 
the Rockland County Grand Jury. The legal proceedings occupied 
several months before they were ended, and, finally, on trial in the 
Rockland Supreme Coui-t, both men were acquitted, their defense l>eing 
that the bank's faihu-e was caused by several poor investments of the 
money, for which they were not to blame. 

THE NYACK HOSPITAL. 

The Nyack Hospital grew out of the need of such a useful institution 
which had been felt long before the project was undeiiaken or took def- 
inite shape. The necessity of convejnng persons from this place or 
vicinity to New York city for surgical operations or any hospital treat- 
ment was so firmly realized that a number of public-spirited citizens 
met together in 1894 and seriously considered the advisability of making 
an effort to establish hospital facilities here for the use of this commu- 
nity, or, indeed, for the use of patients from any other part of Rockland 
county. Tlicre had been some talk among other philantliri>]iic people 
of the town of founding a small hospital in some house already standing, 
for the relief of the sick and injured, but it was deemed wise to consider 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 371 

the formation of a stroug-cr organization and the erection of a substantial 
permanent building which would become a first-class hospit^d in every 
respect. This project was carried out, and the Nyack Hospital of to-day 
occupies a proud and honored position among similar institutions in the 
Hudson river cities and towns. 

It was resolved to incorjjorate under the Hospital law of the State, 
and to found an institution whose beginnings should be so planned as to 
assure the future success of the hospital woi-k here. A certificate of 
incorporation was executed December 22, 1894, with the following 
incorporators: Arthur S. Tompkins, Dr. George A. Mui-sick, Charles 
A. Chapman, Augustus M. Voorhis, Stephen E. Bradley, William 
Dewey, George M. Hard, Clarence Lexow, John G. Dorrance, Dr. J. O. 
Polhemus, M. Watson DeBaun, Enoch C. Bell, Albert E. Duryea, Dr. 
Edward S. Oatman, Dr. Gerrit F. Blauvelt, Howard VanBuren, Dr. 
Edward H. Maynard, Dr. Charles D. Kline, William B. Conrad and 
Gilbert, H. Crawford. 

This certificate of incorporation was approved by the State Board of 
Charities on June 10, 1895, and was further approved for filing June 
17, 1895, by Judge BroAvn, of the Supreme Court. This made the 
incorporation complete. The first regular meeting took place on July 
11th, the same year, when ofiicers and a Boai'd of Managci-s were elected. 
A set of by-laws, carfidly fonnulatcd, was adopted. The first officers 
and Board of Managers were as follows: 
President — Stephen R. Bradley. 
Vice President — George M. Hard. 
Treasurer— Enoch C. Bell. 
Secretary — Howard VanBuren. 

Board of Managers — The above officers and Dr. J. 0. Polhemus, 
Dr. E. S. Oatman, Mr. C. A. Chapman, Dr. C. D. Kline, Mr. W. B. 
Conrad, Mr. G. H. Crawford, Dr. E. H. Maynard, Mr. M. W. DcBann, 
Dr. G. F. Blauvelt, Mr. A. E. Duiyea, Mr. A. M. Voorhis. 

A committee was appointed to look up a site for the hosi:>ital — one 
which would be adequate for the needs of the institution for years to 
come. Several plots of lands were examined, but none appeared so suit- 
able for the puqwses of a hospital as the one finally selected on Midland 
avenue and owned by the Mutual Life Insvu-ance Company of New 
York. This site was purchased from the above company in December, 



372 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

1895, for $3,000. It consisted of three acres of ground, well shaded by 
large trees on every part, and accessible to all. The incorporatore, to 
testify their deep interest in the project, subscribed, Avith a few others 
interested, the sum of $1,350 as part payment and for incidental 
expenses. 

In the summer of 1896 Mr. Marshall B. Emery, the architect, pre- 
pared dra^vings and a plan for the hospital, and these were adopted. In 
September, 1897, a Kinness, under the direction of ]\Iiss Lila Agiiew 
Stewart, was held for five days, and the sum of $3,900 was netted. The 
mortgage of $2,000 on the hospital pi'operty was paid off: With a bal- 
ance of $1,000 in the treasury the managers concluded to build at once. 
The sum of $7,000 was boiTowed on bond and mortgage, and in the fall 
of 1898 the work of construction was commenced. 

In the summer of 1899 another Kirmess was held and a larger sum 
than before was realized. The building was completed and on the first 
day of January, 1900, the hospital was opened for the reception of 
patients. The first one to be received was Mr. David J. Blauvelt, a 
prominent and wealthy citizen, who had been waiting for some time to 
have an operation perfonned. This was done successfully, and dm-ing 
the two and a quarter years which have elapsed since a large amount of 
skillful work has been performed by the hospital staff of physicians and 
surgeons. 

In the summer of 1901 a Venetian Carnival was held by Miss Stew- 
art, realizing a large sum for the hospital. In addition $3,000 has since 
been subscribed toward the addition of a Avard to the present buildings, 
which Avill cost about $5,000. The present stnicture is the Administra- 
tion building, and is only a part of the plan of the complete hospital sys- 
tem. At times it is filled and many patients who want to enter are 
obliged to wait for others to leave. Besides the pay patients who are 
able to remunerate the hospital for its services, a large percentage have 
been treated free. 

Miss Montfort, a trained nurse of thorough experience and remark- 
ably good judgment, is the superintendent in charge, and she is assisted 
by a corps of four nurses. The Hospital Staff consists of Drs. G. P. 
Blauvelt, C. D. Kline, E. II. Maynard, S. W. S. Toms, J. O. Polhcmus 
and George A. Leitner. 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 373 

Following are the present officers and managers of the liospital: 

President — Stephen E. Bradley. 

Vice President — W. B. Conrad. 

Secretary — Howard YanBuren. 

Treasurer — Dr. C. D. Kline. 

Board of Managers — Dr. J. 0. Polhemus, Dr. E. S. Oatman, Mr. 
C. A. Chapman, Dr. C. D. Kline, Mr. W. B. Conrad, Mr. S. K. Brad- 
ley, Mr. G. II. Crawford, Dr. E. II. Maynard, Mr. M. W. DeBaun, Dr. 
G. F. Blauvelt, Mr. E. C. Bell, Mr. A. E. Duryea, Mr. G. M. Hard, 
Mr. A. M. Voorhis, Mr. H. YanBuren. 

NYACK GAS COMPANY. 

The Nyack Gaslight and Fuel Company has grown to its present 
large dimensions from the Nyack and Warren Gaslight Company, which 
it succeeds. Tlie latter company was incorporated in November, 1859. 
The gas works were biiilt on what is now known as Gcdney street, 
where tlie present plant is located. After a few years under the man- 
agement of the old eomiiany, William Yoorhis came in charge of the 
works and became President. In 1893 the Nyack Gaslight and Fuel 
Company was incorporated and the officers were: A. M. Yoorhis, Pres- 
ident; William S. Yoorhis, Yice President; Frederick Perry, Secretary. 
In 1894 the plant was enlarged and improved, and in 1889 a still more 
extensiA-e change and improvement in the works was made. New meth- 
ods were introduced and, at great cost, the plant was made one of the 
latest improved and most complete of any along the Hudson river. 
The present officers of the company are: President, A. M. Yoorhis; 
Secretary, Frederick Pen-y; Treasurer, A. M. Yoorhis. The office of 
Yice President has been abolished. 

THE NYACK BUILDING AND LOAN ASSOCIATION. 

The Nyack Building, Co-Opera tive Savings and Loan Association 
was incorporated June 16th, 1888, imder and pursuant to an act of the 
Loo-islature, known as Chapter .5.5(i of the Laws of the State of New 
York pa.s.sed in 1887. The incorporators were: Clarence Lexow, M. 
Watson DeBaun, Henry DeBaun, Abram G. Garrison, Lawton M. Bur- 
dick, August .1. Gross, M. George Barrett, J. W. Graham, George Gates, 



374 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Adam C. Haeselbarth, <T. Eckerson Demarest, Robert Halliday, Boltvis 
M. Brush, Millard F. Onderdonk, Alonzo Corsa, A. A. Blacklodge, 
Arthur S. Tomj)kins, liicliard T. Lyeth. The first officers and direc- 
tors were: 

President, Clarence Lexow; Vice President, John A. Demarest; Sec- 
retary, Alonzo Corsa; Treasurer, John M. (iesncr; Directors, W. T. B. 
Storms, C. E. Smith, A. A. Blackledge, H. T. Gesner, P. P. Waring, 
Charles Ilariug, J. E. Demarest, R. J. Lyeth, Conrad Doersch. 

The Association has had a prosperous career and aided, through 
loans, in erecting many new buildings and improving others. The 
shares in the tirst four series have matured and been paid oit', and the 
fifth will be paid off at the close of next year. 

The present standing of the Association is shown by the following 
figures from the last annual report issued December 18, 19 01: 

Resources, bonds and moi-tgages, $198,250.00; share loans, 
$3,560.00; total of these two items, $201,810.00. Other items bring 
the total resources up to $237,692.39. 

Liabilities — Due to members' shares in June, $184,904.00; declared 
profits, $47,353.61; due on incomplete loans, $500.00; maturity cer- 
tificates outstanding, $4,300.00; undivided profits, $15.39; suspense, 
$619.39. Total, $237,692.39. 

The present officers are: 

President — Clarence Lexow. 

Vice President— Peter P. Waring. 

Secretary — G. Edwdu Gregory. 

Treasurer — Edwin R. Smith. 

Attorney — Irving Hopper. 

The Association's present headquarters are in the Voorhis block, 
No. 4 North Broadway. 

ELECTRICITY IN NYACK. 

Electric light was introduced in Nyack fifteen years ago. In 1887 
the Nyack Electric Light Company was formed, with the following 
officers: President, Clarence Lexow; Vice President, Gon. Jnmes II. 
Blauvelt; Secretary, Ilarrie G. Newton; Treasurer, Charles A. Chap- 
man. A power house was built in Jackson avenue, and after the wires 
were put up and the plant was in working order, the turning on of the 




JOHN F. MCPAKLANE. 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 375 

electric light was celebrated by a parade in wliicli the firemen and other 
citizens took paa-t. In ISilO the company added the incandescent sys- 
tem to the arc lights which they had fnrnislied exclusively np to that 
time. The patronage of the company increased, and after a short time 
contracts were made with all the Nyack villages for street lighting by 
electricity. This light has been used in the villages ever since. 

In 1900 the Electric Light Company sold out to the present Rock- 
land Light and Power Company, which now carries on the business 
with gTeatly increased facilities. S. R. Bradley is the President of tlie 
company and practically the owner of the plant. His son, S. K. Urad- 
ley, Jr., is Vice President and George L. Chapman, his son-in-law, is 
Secretary and Treasurer. The present plant is an almost entirely new 
one. New poles were erected, new wires were strung, and the power 
house was established at Orangeburg in one of several building-s therc^ 
owned by Mr. Bradley. The entire system here is complete in details 
and the plant now furnishes electric light and power for a great part of 
Rockland county, besides having its lines extended into Ujiper New 
Jersey. The company's general office is in Moeller block, Broad- 
way, Nyack. 

THE NYACK FREE LIBRARY. 

The Nyack Free Library, which is to have its home in a handsome 
$15,000 building, paid for by Mr. Andrew Carnegie this year, had its 
birth in 1879, when it was foimded as a subscription library, with Mr. 
S. R. Bradley, President; Mr. Quentin McAdam. Vice President, and 
ifr. John II. Tingley, Secretaiy. In 1890 the institution was regularly 
chart ere<l and in 1894 it was made a free library. For a few years past 
it has received an annual appropriation from each of the three Nyack 
corporations towards its .support. 

Early in 1901 a committee of the Directors of the Library made 
application to Mr. Andrew Carnegie, the well known niulti-millionairo 
and financier, to furnish $15,000 with which to pro^ade a sul>stantial 
up-to-date Library building in Nyack. The application was made just 
previous to Mr. Carnegie's sailing for Europe, so it was several months 
before his decision in the matter could be kno^vn, although his private 
secretary gave the committee words of encouragement. A few days 
before Christmas of that vear word was received from Mr. Carnegie 



376 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

that he would donate $15,000 for a free Library building in ISTyack if 
the village would guarantee the sum of $1,500 a year for its support. 
At the first meetings of the three Village Boards after that each one 
decided to increase the appropriation which it was already giving to the 
sum needed, so that the full amount of $1,500 is now guaranteed. Mr. 
Carnegie, when informed of this, accepted the conditions and said he 
would pay the money as it was required for the construction of the 
bviilding. 

The Libraiy had for some time owned a lot on lower Broadway, 
between the Jouraal office and Dr. Maynard's residence, but there was a 
strong sentiment in favor of locating the building on a more conspicuous 
site farther north. After due consideration the Library Trustees issued 
a call through the village papers for siibscriptions toward the sum of 
$4,000 to jDurchase the UePew lot, on Broadway, where an old bam had 
stood for thi'ee generations, that amoimt to be given in part payment 
along with the lower lot already owned by the Library. The subscrip- 
tions came in slowly at first, then there was a spurt one day when the 
amount ran up to $1,020.00. After this other sums were added nearly 
every day, and the whole siim was raised. 

The present officers of the Library are: Howard Van Buren, Pres- 
ident; Capt. Joel Wilson, Vice President; Eugene F. Perry, Secretary 
and Treasurer; Directors, G. T. Morrow, George O. Martine, J. C. Greg- 
oi-y, Gerrit Smith, Dr. E. H. Majaiard, Edward II. Cole, A. M. Voorhis, 
Frank R. Crumble. 

THE NYACK SCHOOLS. 

Perhaps there is no direction in which Nyack has advanced more 
steadily than in the way of educational institutions, there being in the 
\allage to-day a Union and High School and three military academies, 
besides a parochial school connected with St. Ann's R. C. Church. 

It was some time before 1800 when the first school building was ]"iut 
up in ISTyack. It was located in Main street, and the first teacher was a 
man named Davenport. In 1806 a now school building was erected on 
Broadway, where the post office now stands. The building was two 
stories high and the school is said to have been well attended considering 
the sparse population. In 1827 this building burned do\\ni, but was 
aftenvard rebuilt. In 1837 a school building was erected on the pros- 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 377 

ent site. In 1S51 a new and larger building was put up, with Archi- 
bald Stewart as teacher. With an increasing population in the village, 
the school attendance also increased and in 1867 it was found necessary 
to build a large addition to the edifice. In 1884 the building M'as again 
enlarged by the addition of a new front, and in 1892 it was still further 
enlarged on each side, when fire-proof stairways of iron and stone were 
put in and other material improvements were made. 

The first Regents' examination in this school took place on Novem- 
ber 25, 1890, and on December lOtli, 1890, the school was officially 
admitted as a Regents' school. It was also made a superintendent's 
school at the same time. Prof. Ira II. Lawton came to the school as 
superintendent in the fall of 1890 and at once began good work which 
has resulted in winning from the State Department of Public Instruc- 
tion well deserved praise for the school as being one of the best in the 
St^ate. It has three departments — Primary, Grammar and High Scliool 
— and now employs 27 teachers, besides the superintendent. The 
attendance registration of the school is about 1,200. The present Board 
of Education consists of James II. Christie, President; Francis J. N. 
Tallman, Secretary; Dr. E. H. Maynard, Peter E. Remsen and Howard 
M. Storms. 

The Rockland Female Institute was opened in what is now in South 
Nyack, August 28, 18,50, under Rev. E. Van Zandt. In 1858 L. Delos 
Mansfield took charge and conducted it successfully some years, when it 
was finally closed. 

Christopher Rutherford built and opened the Nyack Military Acad- 
emy in 1859. In 1870 he died and the school closed. In 1870 Willam 
n. Bannister, A. M., opened the school and in 1878 it was incorix)i'ated 
under the Regents of the State as Rockland College and had a successful 
career for sixteen years, when it closed. 

In the fall of 1895 Capt. Joel Wilson, who had conducted a suc- 
cessful military school at Newton, N. J., leased the Rockland College 
building and opened a military school here which he afterward named 
the Hudson River Militaiy Academy. The school prospered and was 
conducted at the above place for four years, when Capt. Wilson leased 
the handsome Tappan Zee Hotel property at South Nyack and removed 
his sclioril there, where it has continued its prosperous career ever since. 



378 HISTORY OF ROCKL,AND COUNTY, 

This scliool has a sinnmer camp at Rye Beach, and rhirino- the Expo- 
sition at JJuffalo it sent a battei-y there, where it was encamped for two 
weeks, winning the approval of thousands who saw the young cadets drill 
and go tlirougli their dithcnlt manenvei's. 

On September 15, 1890, Prof Elmer E. French came to Nyack and 
opened the Kockland Military Academy, which he still conducts success- 
fully, lie has a large and prosperous school. 

Prof. E. Stanton Eield, in September, 1901, opened the Nyack Mil- 
itary Academy on what is known as the Hart property, north of the 
Baptist Church, and has an excellent growing school. 

There have been many private schools in Nyack during years past. 

NYACK'S SEWER SYSTEM. 

In the spring of 1803, recognizing that one of Nyack's needs in the 
near future, with an increasing population, would be a complete sewer 
system, which woiild protect the health of the people and prove a con- 
venience to them as well, the Village Board, by the power vested in them 
by law, appointed a Board of Sewer Commissioners, consisting of Cor- 
nelius DeBaun, M. Watson DeBaun, Dr. E. H. Mayuard, Edwin B. 
Sipple and Charles Theis. This Board engaged James S. Haring, a 
civil engineer, to prepare a map, plans, etc., to be submitted to the State 
Board nf Health. Mr. Haring ]>receeded to do this work and in March, 
1894, his map and plans were submitted to the Board of Commissioners 
and then to the State Board of Health, by whom they were approved in 
May, 1894. To present the matter to the people of the village a special 
election to vote on the question of having a sewer system was called and 
it was held on September 18, 1894, when the people voted it do-mi. 

The matter was then allowed to rest for several months and another 
election was called for October 8, 1895. The people had evidently 
thought the matter over more carefully, and at this election the proji- 
osition was carried. The Sewer Commissioners were authorized to issue 
bonds in a siun not exceeding $65,000 to pay for a sewer system in tho 
lallage. In February, 1890, bids were received from several contractors, 
and the contract was awarded to the Manhattan Supply Company, of 
New York city, for the sum of $40,000. In May bonds of $50,000 were 
issued. The Manhattan Supply Coni])nny liad a remarkably fine and dry 
season for their work, which was finished in December of that year — 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 379 

1896. In January, 1897, they pnt in a bill to the village of $42,000, in 
a.iklition to the contract price, for exti-a work which they alleged had 
been done. The village refused to pay the bill and suit was brought by 
the Manhattan Company in the Supreme Court. The Hon. A. S. Tomp- 
kins was retained by the plaintiffs and Lawyer Ralph E. Prime, of Yon- 
kers, was secured to defend the village. When the matter came into 
court it was seen that it would be impossible to try it before a jury 
because of the length of time which it would take, and the Court 
appointed Judge Bcattie, of Oi'ange county, Referee, to take testimou}' 
in the case. The suit was then begun and the case was not decided until 
May, 1901, when Judge Seattle gave the plaintiff a judgment for 
$8,957.77. This simi included extra work and fifteen per cent of the 
contract price, amounting to about $6,000, thus allowing the Manhattan 
Company less than $3,000 for extra work and interest. The costs, 
amounting to $5,987.28, were afterward taxed to the village, making a 
total of $14,945.05, which the village was required to pay. No apjieal 
was taken and about $7,000 has been paid up to the present time. The 
sewer system is a good one in every particular. 

ORANGETOWN'S TROLLEY SCHEJ^IES. 

For the last seven years the eyes of people in every part of Rockland 
county have been turned to Orangetowm, and particularly to Nyack, for 
a realization of some one of several sch<'mcs which were to start a trolley 
which would traverse a great part of the county. Up to this time, how- 
ever, this has not been done, although the people are told to hope on, 
as it is surely coming. 

The first trolley project was started here in 1895, when two coni- 
jianies were fonned. One of these, composed of local men, xras the 
River and Valley Traction Company, and the other, headed by Pough- 
keepsie men, was called the Nyack Traction Company. Both failed to 
accomj^lish anything and they went out of existence. In 1897 a pro- 
moter named Wilgus came here to represent a new Nyack Traction 
Company, and by earnest work, accompanied by a remarkable degrof^ 
of tact and strong persuasive powers, spent several weeks in f>btainiug 
franchises for a trolley line. His promises were so bright and appeared 
so reasonable, that he succeeded in securing franchises from Sparkill 
and Piermont, up the river road to Nyack and Upper Nyack and then 



380 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

out tlirougli the county to West Wyack, Eockland Lake, New City and 
other points. He obtained the rights of way over a large part of tlic 
route, but not the whole of it, and the Nyack Traction Company hired 
an office in this place, gave out contracts for material for tlie trolley, and 
said the road would be biult at once. Several loads of rails and ties were 
brought to Nyack, but suddenly all signs of work ceased, the rails and 
ties, which had not been paid for, were taken away, and the county 
appeared to be as far away from having the trolley as ever. The !Nyack 
Traction Company became insolvent, and its franchises were afterwards 
sold by a receiver to Charles W. Reeve, of New York city, for $5,550 
in cash. This money was applied to the payment of debts of the Nyack 
Traction Company. 

On September 12, 1900, the Rockland County Traction Company 
Avas ineorjiorated, with Charles W. Reeve as President, and the franchises 
of the defunct Nyack Traction Company became this new company^s 
property. After many linrd nttempts, Mr. Reeve announced during the 
past winter of 1901-02 that he had secured the necessary financial back- 
ing to build the trolley, and through his counsel, the Hon A. S. Tomp- 
kins, he made application to the State Board of Railroad Commissioners 
for a certificate of necessity and convenience, which would enable them 
to institute condemnation proceedings along the Tonte of the proposed 
electric road in places where the necessary consents could not be 
obtained. At a hearing before the Railroad Commissioners on January 
22nd, this year, owing to a technical in-egularity in the publication of 
the notice of incorporation, an adjournment for some weeks became nec- 
essary. A second hearing took place on Febniaiy 21, when it was found 
that Mr. Reeves, when filing the certificate of incorporation of the Trac- 
tion Company, had failed to put up the 10 per cent of the capital stock 
in cash as required, and another adjournment became necessaiy. This 
invalidated the old incorporation, and it was fo\md that it would be nec- 
essary to iucoi-jiorate again, and to deposit $30,000 in cash, as 10 per 
cent, of the $300,000 capital stock of the company. The company wns 
re-incorporated, another hearing took place before the Rnilroad Commis- 
sioners, and another adjournment wns found necessnry. Three outside 
companies have gone over the field, and it looks nt tliis writing as if 
Nyack might h.nve a trolley. 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 381 

NYACK WATER WORKS. 

The present, water system of Nyack, while it has been costly and 
taken time to establish it, is complete in every detail and affords the peo- 
I^lo of Nyack, South Nyack and Upper Nyack as pure water as there is 
in the State, and with a never-failing supply. It is taken from the Hack- 
eusack river at West Nyack, passes through substantial filter beds of 
sand, so that it is thoroughly filtered and purified before it comes over 
the hills to Nyack. 

The first definite move toward establishing this water system was 
taken on July 15, 1895, when the Nyack Village Board appointed a 
Board of Water Commissioners consisting of Dr. E. H. Maynard, the 
Hon. George Dickey and Augustus A. Christie. An election was held 
on September 3rd, 1895, when a majority of the taxpayers voted to 
authorize the Commissioners to proceed to provide some system by 
which to furnish Nyack with a sufficient supply of pure water. An 
investigation was made in several localities to get water. A well was 
driven near the river shore at Upper Nyack, and from this came a gen- 
erous supply of water. It was foimd by chemical analysis, however, 
that this water contained a slight trace of salt, and that project was 
abandoned. The Spring Valley water shed was next inspected, but it 
was found that it would prove too expensive to bring the water from that 
distance, and this project was no longer considered. 

The only feasible plan that appeared to remain was for the village to 
acquire the plant of the Nyack Water Works, which had for years been 
the pi'incipal source of Nyack's water supply. These works were orig- 
inally established by the late Commodore William Voorhis, and after 
his death they were owned and condiioted by members of his family, 
who comprised the Nyack Water Works Company. In the early years 
of this company the supply of water was furnished from springs in and 
near the village, but these proving inadequate, mains were laid on the 
turnpike to West Nyack, where a pump house was built and the water 
was pumped from the Hackensack river. 

The Board of Water Commissioners opened communication -with the 
Nyack Water Works Company in 1S9fi for the purpose of acquiring 
that company's plant by purchase if possible. No agreement could be 
entered into in regard to price, and it was then decided to institute con- 
demnation proceedings. This was done and Louis J. Lediger, of Blau- 



382 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

velt ; John M. Verdin, of New City, and "William McCauley, of Haver- 
straw, were appointed by the coiu't a commission to take testimony and 
appraise the value of the water plant. This was done and as a result the 
company received $107,000 for their property. It was decided to lay 
new water pipes in the streets, while the sewer pipes were being put in, 
so that they could be put in the same ditches. This was done and that 
part of the new system was completed. In the summer of 1897 bonds to 
the amount of $165,000 were issued to pay for the old company's plant 
and to complete the village's plant at West Nyack. Land was aetiuired 
at AVest Nyack, a large new pump house was built and a system of filtra- 
tion by filter beds of sand was adopted by the Commissioners and rec- 
ommended by the best experts in the State. "Work on the filter lieds 
proceeded until the money ran out, when an additional appropriation 
was asked for in 1898. This proposition was voted down, and nothing 
was done for nearly a year. In 1899 the matter was submitted to the 
people, and they voted an appropriation to complete the work. The filter 
beds have proved a gratifying success and the entire plant is now com- 
plete and satisfactory. 

THE SnSSIOJ^AEY INSTITUTE. 

One of the most important and perhaps most notable institutions es- 
tablished in ISTyack within the last five years is the Missionaiy Institute 
of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, situated on Nyack Heights. In 
the year 1896 the Eev. A. B. Simpson, who is at the head of the Alli- 
ance, and some of his co-workers, conceived the idea of establishing a 
jMissionary Institute here and of erecting a tabernacle near by for the 
holding of a yearly convention in the early part of each September. He 
purchased in all about 70 acres of ground on Nyack Heights, including 
the handsome and costly residence of the Rev. Eoss Taylor, son of 
Bishop Taylor, of Africa. This residence had burned down a coiiple 
of yeai-s before and four of the Eev. Eoss Taylor's children perished in 
the flames. With a degree of courage seldom seen Mr. Taylor rebuilt 
the house and, wth the remainder of his family, continued to make his 
home there. After the property was purchased by the Alliance, how- 
ever, Mr. Taylor vacated the premises, and the building, handsomely 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 383 

furnished throughout, has bccu kuowu as the Berachah Home, iu which 
the sick and afflicted are cared for and where the faith of Divine Healina- 
is practiced. 

During the winter and early spring of 1897 the Christian Alliance 
got out i)lans for the Missionary Institute, made contracts ^^dth buildei-s 
and in the early part of May of that year the comer-stone was laid with 
a]i]iropriate ceremonies. On this occasion several hundred members of 
the Christian Alliance came up on a special train from New York city 
and for the first time climbed up the Heights, to an altitude of 500 feet, 
to be present at the comer-stone laying. A tabernacle to seat nearly 
2,000 people was erected on the premises north of the Institute, and the 
first convention on Nyack Heights was held for ten days in early Sep- 
tember, and on the closing Sunday of that convention a collection of 
$1 fi, Ono was taken for the cause of missions. After that the Institute 
was completed and opened in October, 1897, with about 200 students 
who were studying to become missionaries. The cost of the Institute 
was some $40,000. Each year since that time the Institute has been 
filled with students from October until the following Jime, and the cus- 
tom of holding annual conventions is continiied. Eev. Dr. Simpson, 
after the Institute was completed, erected a handsome residence for 
himself on the hillside, and at the foot of the hill the Alliance Press, 
a printing establishment which does the extensive work of the Alliance 
in that line, was erected and stocked, having a value at the present time 
of not less than $40,000. Recently the printing plant was removed to 
New York city. Dr. Simpson has hopes that if the trolley comes to 
Nyack, he may run a spur up the hill, and that the entii-e hillside will 
become dotted with pretty cottages. 

YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION. 

The Young Men's Christian Association was organized in Nyack 
on December 22, 1888, and the As.sociation is at present in better con- 
dition than for some time past. It is non-sectarian, including in its 
membership men and boys of all denominations and creeds. The Asso- 
ciation building, purchased in 1890, is on Main street, half a block west 
of Broadway, and has imdergone extensive improvements in the last 



384 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

year. It has a reading room, ladies' parlor, public hall, gymnasium, 
bowling alleys, baths, etc., and au active Ladies' Auxiliary is connected 
with the organization. 

The General Secretaries of the Association since it was instituted 
have been as follows: 

Henry J. Wilkius, from Dec, 1888, to Oct. 1, 1891. 

George A. Dugan, from Oct. 1, 1891, to June 1, 1893. 

Edward C. Brownell, from August 1, 1893, to August 1, 189G. 

Alfred E. Scott, from Sept. 1, 1896, to Oct. 1, 1S97. 

E. D. Munnx;, from Dec, 1897, to Jime, 1898. 

G. H. Hauser, from Sept. 1898, to Jan. 1, 1900. 

James E. Canfield, the present efficient General Secretary, came here 
in May, 1900. A. G. Jillard, from Poughkeepsie, is Assistant Genei'al 
Secretary and Physical Director. 

The present officers and Directors of the Association arc: 

President — Frank R. Crumbie. 

Vice President — Gerrit Smith. 

Eecording Secretary — George V. H. Blauvelt. 

Treasurer — James C. Gregory. 

Directors — Eugene F. Perry, Victor Ackerman, William Keen- 
holts, A. S. Tompkins^ F. J. N. Tallman, John M. Gesuer, James C. 
Gregory, S. M. Wilson, C. W. Fidlwood, G. H. Hopper, Gerrit Smith, 
James VanWoelden, John S. Muiray, Truman H. Baldwin, Frank R. 
Crumbie, T. J. W. Ebersole, G. V. H. Blauvelt. 

NYACK EIRE DEPARTMENT. 

The history of the Nyack Fire Department dates back to the fall 
of 1834, when, on October first, the first engine company, Orangetown, 
No. 1, was fonnod. A "bucket" engine was purchased and did service 
for fifty years. It was the only engine in the village and aided in extin- 
guishing a number of destructive fires. In 1884 a "Button" steamer 
was piirchased. 

Mazeppa Engine Company, No. 2, was organized on Decemlx-r 27, 
1852, and used a then up-to-date hand engine until January, 1884, 
when the company purchased a "Silsby" steamer. 




CUKXt.LILS AUKYANSEN. 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 385 

Jackson Engine Company, N'o. 3, was organized May 9, 1S67, and 
reorganized on May 2, 1882. Some time later this company also pur- 
chased a steamer, making three in the village. 

Chelsea Hook and Ladder Company, No. 2, was organized in 18U1. 

Jackson Hose Company, JSTo. 3, was organized in September, 1880. 

Highland Hose Company was organized in the fall of 1895. 

All of these companies are well equipped ^vith modem apparatus, 
but since Nyack has had its present water system the steamers are not 
needed, as the water pressure is sufficient to throw a stream ov'er the 
highest building in ISTyack at any time during the day or night. 

The officers of the Nyack Fire Department are: 

Chief — George Milton. 

First Assistant — Frank Wanamaker. 

Second Assistant — Matthew Evers, Jr. 

PIEEMONT. 

The Village of Piennont, whose industrial interests to-day look 
brighter than they have for many years, has an interesting though varied 
history with which most of the residents thei'e are unfamiliar. Pier- 
mont has always had among its population a goodly number of Rockland 
county's most substantial citizens, who, ever amid the village's most 
trying times, in a business sense, have looked forward for renewed 
prosperity for the place in which they were pleased to live. 

The first i:)ort of entry in Rockland county was the Piennont creek, 
then knowTi as the "slot«." The name by which the place was desig- 
nated at that time was Tappan, and the boats than ran up the creek to 
the old mill dam, at the spot whei'e the Haddock building now stands, 
and stopped at Tappan Landing, by the dam. This creek was of great 
importance to the early settlers in that region, for it afforded them au 
outlet for the produce which they wished to market. Sloops sailed from 
the river up the creek, and were loaded with produce, which tliey car- 
ried to New York to market. This method of travel was extremely slow, 
and consequently the shipment of produce was not very frequent. 
Eaisei's of produce continued this method of sending their goods to mar- 
ket until 1827, when steamboat na\'igation was established. 

"When the New York and Erie Railroad was built, in 1839, and the 
long pier, which still exists, was built a mile out into the river, the name 



386 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

of the place was changed to Piennont. The name was suggested both 
Ly tlie pier and the liigh nio\intains which fonn a finn and bcantifnl 
background for the village. 

One of the early settlers of this region built a mill on the creek or 
slotc, and long before the Revolution Abraham Mabie opened a store in 
the building and continued it until the close of that war. In 1783, or 
thereabout, this store came into the possession of Major Abraham Taul- 
man, who conducted it until liis death, in 1835, when his sons succeeded 
him. These sons continued the business imtil 1856, when John Myers 
bought them out. In 1857 Myers sold out to Roger Haddock, who 
remained in the old building until 1876, when he moved his stock and 
business to the large brick building which he erected in 1875, and which 
is now occupied by the Hasbrouck Motor Company, about half-way to 
Sparkill. 

The post office here was established in 1815, and on March 25th of 
that 3'ear Philip Dubey was appointed Postmaster. The name of the 
post-office then was changed. On May 28th, 1830, Morris Bartow was 
made Postmaster; Peter T. Taulman became Postmaster on April 9, 
1S34, and the name of the office was changed to Slote. Finally, on June 
26th, 1839, the name of the office was changed to Piennout. The names 
of the Postmasters who have succeeded Peter H. Taulman are: David 
Clark, S. A. Jessup, John B. "Wandle, Richard Wandle, Abram J. 
Storms and David Doremus, who was appointed under the present 
administration of President Roosevelt. 

Piermont's first schoolhouse was built early in the nineteenth cen- 
tury. It stood on the east side of the creek on the road to Palisades. 
This building was succeeded by a new one in 1845. Another change 
was made in 1884, when a larger schoolhouse was erected at a cost of 
$5,000. The present handsome and up-to-date school building, bearing 
the name of Tappan Zee High School, is the result of a combination of 
progi'essive forces for the purpose of raising the standard of education 
in the village and affording the children first-class facilities for acquir- 
ing a good education. By a special act of the Legislature of 1897-8, 
Union Free School District, No. 2, Sparkill; District No. 3, Piennont, 
and Common School District No. 8, Grand View, were consolidated at a 
special election held in April, 1898, and the new district is No. 3. A 
committee was appointed to procure a site for a large new school build- 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 387 

ing, and the present site was purchased from the Blauvelt estate. Plans 
were then prepared, submitted and adopted, and the Board of Educa- 
tion called a special meeting of the qualified voters of the district to vote 
upon a resolution authoriziug them to boiTOW the sum of $24,000 and 
issue therefor twenty-four bonds of $1,000 each for the erection of a 
new schoolhouse. This election was held on November 3, 1898, and the 
resolution was carried. The new building was erected and elaborate 
and interesting dedication exercises were held in the school room, which 
was crowded on the evening of Jamiary 15th, 1900. The Board of Edu- 
cation, throiigh whose faithful and efficient direction the work was car- 
ried on to successful completion, consisted of: William F. Mastin, Pres- 
ident; Charles Haring, Clerk and Trustee, and Tnistces Anna T. P. 
May, Marie S. Yale, Eleanor T. Westervelt, Lewis R. Suiitli, George M. 
Hard, David W. Kipp and John J. Mead. The school was named the 
Tappan Zee High School, and is under the Principalsliip of Sidney F. 
Firman, who is assisted by a good sized corps of instnictors. 

The population of Piermont Village, by the census of 1900, 
was 1,153. 

The building of the Erie railroad made Piennont what it was in its 
most prosperous days. The erection of the round house and car shops 
there brought in a large amount of ready money, and being the terminus 
of that road made it the place of residence of a large number of men 
in the railroad serA-ice, with their families. Two ro^ind houses, a 
machine, car and paint shop, planing mills, a foundry and other build- 
ings necessary at the terminal point of a railroad, were erected, all 
together covering an area of a little over four acres. In 18fiO, the fii-st 
year of the Civil War, the prosperity of Piennont was at its height. The 
population in that year was 2,426 and everyone was thrifty and happy. 
Two years later the Erie road changed its terminus to Jersey City, and 
this was a heavy blow for Piennont, from which the place did not 
recover for many years. The company's works were taken to Jersey 
City, and, in consequence, many families were obliged to leave. It is 
said by some of the older residents that in the early part of 18(52 the ])()p- 
ulation of Piermont had been reduced at least one-half, and that many 
more removed from the place during the spring and srimmer of that 
year. Piennont, however, continued as the tenniuus for passengers and 



388 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

freight on the ISTortliem Raih-oad until in 1870, when the Nyack branch 
of that road was completed and opened. 

Piermont became an incorporated village in 1850, with the follow- 
ing officers: President, Peter H. Taulman; Trustees, J. G. Blauvelt, 
James A. Hopson, S. S. Post and J. T. Walsh; Clerk, Cornelius Hoff- 
man. The present officers are; 0. W. P. Westervelt, President; 
George E. DeGroat, George Grimme, G. I. Clayton, W. H. Myers, Tnis- 
tees; John W. Aureyansen, Clerk; John B. Wandle, Treasurer. 

Empire Engine Company ~No. 1, which is still in existence, with an 
efficient membership, was the first company of the Piermont Fire Depart- 
ment, which was organized in 1852, with James Westeiwelt as Chief, 
and its engine house was owned by the Erie Company. Protection Com- 
pany, No. 1, was organized in 1856, but disbanded in 1878. Empire 
Company No. 1 is now equipped with a first-class steamer and does 
effective work at fires where an ample supply of water can be obtained. 
In some localities the water supply is very meagre, and the fii'emeu, 
always ready to perfomi their duty, are thus handicapiaed. 

Piermont has its share of societies, fraternal and otherwise. The 
oldest is Piermont Lodge, No. 83, I. 0. O. F., which was organized Feb. 
1st, 1843, with William DeVoe, Noble Grand; D. A. Mabie, Vice 
Grand, John J. Lawi-ence, Secretary; John B. Wandle, Treasurer. 
This lodge is still in a prosperous condition, with a good member- 
ship and has handsome new quarters recently fitted up and tastefully 
furnished. Viola Lodge, Rebekah Degree, a woman's branch of the 
order, is a recent valuable addition to Odd Fellowship in Piermont. 

Wawayanda Lodge, No. 315, F. & A. M., wa.s oi'ganized in June, 
1853, witii D. B. Parsons, W. M.; R. H. Black, S. W.; E. G. Bennet, 
J. W. ; John Randall, Treasurer; D. C. Noe, Secretary; Levi F. Ward, 
S. D. ; John R. Baker, J. D. Rockland Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, 
was organized in Api'il, 1867, but has since removed to Nyack. 

Rockland Council, No. 491, American Legion of Honor, was organ- 
ized in April, 1881, with F. B. Wright, Commander; S. G. Clark, Vice 
Conmiander; Isaac E. Gillies, Secretaiy; George Pierson, Jr., Collector; 
George A. Knapp, Treasurer; Ward Phillips, Guide; C. V. A. Blau- 
velt, Warden; J. W. Adriance, Sentry; E. G. Tucker, Past Commander. 

The PieiTuont Rowing Association, organized in October, 1879, 
is stilFa thrifty organization, although affording but little sport in latter 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 389 

years in the. way of aquatics. The Association's first officers were: 
President, Edward N. Whiton; Vice President, Lewis G. Clark; Secre- 
tary, F. B. Wright; Captain, J. A. Styles; Lieutenant, A. X. Fallon. 
The present fine boat house of the club was built in the \\nnter of 
1S7!)-'S0. In the last few years the house has been used principally for 
social affairs and bowling. A. X. Fallon, the first Lieutenant of the 
Association, then a modest and always honest lawyer, is now County 
Judge of Rockland County. 

What has proved a very useful organization in the village is the Pier- 
niont Lnprovement Association, which has done a large amount of work 
to bring about what its name suggests — improvement. This association 
was organized April 18, 1892, and incorporated under the New York 
State Laws August 11, 1890. Its officers are: President, William F. 
Mastin; Secretary, Charles Haring; Treasurer, John C. Haring. The 
Pierniont Free Library is an outgrowth of the Improvement Association, 
and is under the immediate supervision of the Woman's Committee, 
with Mrs. M. L. Yale, Chairman; Miss Eleanor T. Hai-ing, Librarian, 
and Miss A. E. Haring, Assistant Librarian. 

Renewed prosperity for Piermont in an industrial line seems now 
assured by two enterprises recently established. One of these, the larger 
of the two, is the Piennont Paper Company, which in 1901 purchased 
a large tract of land where the car shops and round house fonnerly 
stood, and erected thereon an immense brick building for the manufac- 
ture of paper of all kinds. The work started up in February of this 
year and has gradually increased. The Piermont Paper Company was 
incorporated at Albany on January 2?.rd, 1902, with a capital of $500,- 
000. The Directors are: Crawford Fairbanks, of Terre Haute, 
Indiana; Martin R. Williams and Charles E. Williams, of Permont; 
William J. Alford, of Anderson, Indiana, and Benjamin I. Harter, of 
Chicago. 

The Hasbrouck Motor Works, established in 1900, is also an impor- 
tant industry, occupying the large Haddock building, on the road to 
Sparkill. This company is making motors for yachts and other vessels. 
The officers are: President, Stephen A. Hasbrouck; Vice President, E. 
J. Collins; Secretary and Treasurer, Dr. Stephen Hasbrouck. 



390 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

SPAEKILL. 

Up to 1870 Sparkill bore the name of Upper Piennont. The resi- 
dents became dissatisfied with the latter name and gave it the title of the 
cre«k which passes through it — the Sparkill. Isaac A. Spencer was 
appointed first Postmaster on May 13, 1872, and held the position until 
his sudden death, early in 1880, when he was succeeded by his wife, 
Lucretia Spencer. ]\liss Vincent succeeded her and Mrs. Auryansen is 
the present Postmistress. Spai'kill is chiefly a place of residences. 

OEANGETOWN'S CEMETEEIES. 

In the different parts of Orangetown may still be seen occasional 
evidences of private burying grounds where, many years ago, the 
remains of deceased persons were interred, but these were not known as 
public cemeteries, nor was there such a cemetery established in this town 
for the reception of the dead from any part of the county from which 
friends desired to bring them, until 1847. In that year, singularly 
enough, the two most beautifiil and most conspicuous cemeteries along 
the Hiidson river were founded. One of these was Oak Hill Cemetery, 
situated on the hillside west of Nyaek village, and the other was Rock- 
land Cemetery, on the hill west of Piermont village. These two far- 
famed burial places have steadily been imiDroved, and persons of note 
from different quarters of the globe are buried in both. 

OAK HILL CEMETEEY. 

Oak Hill Cemetery succeeded two smaller burial places in Nyack, 
the first being on the old C. T. Smith property, west of what is knowni 
as the "Bight," now at the lower limit of South Nyack, and the other 
the Presbyterian Cemetery, two blocks west of where the Baptist Church 
is situated. The bodies from these two old cenieteries were removed 
to Oak Hill Cemeterj' in 1873 and 1869 respectively. 

The wisdom and necessity of establishing Oak Hill Cemeteiy was 
talked of by the citizens of Nyack and vicinity in 1847, and it was the 
universal opinion that such a move should be made. In February, 1848, 
a public meeting was held and it was unanimously resolved to dedicate 
the gTound as a place of burial. In June of that year the plans were 
put into execution and the ceremonies, religious in their character, were 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 391 

appropriate and elaborate. The dedication service was performed by 
the Rev. Dr. Ilardcnburg and an oration was delivered by the Hon. 
Hugh Maxwell. David D. Smith was the owner of the land up to March 
I7th, 1865. He received four-fifths of the purchase money from the 
sale of plots and the remaining fiftli was held by the Cemetery Board 
for the improvement of the grounds. On March 17, 1865, the cemetery 
was incoi-porated by a special act of the Legislature. The cemetery 
steadily imijroved and several times it became necessary to enlarge it 
by the purchase of adjoining gToimds. 

In the winter of 1899-1900 a movement was started by a party of 
men from New York city to get control of Oak Hill Cemetery, and 
never before, in the more than half-centiiry of its existence, had the 
plot-o^vners and others interested in the ground become so aroused over 
anything as they were over tliis proceeding to get charge of the man- 
agement of the cemetery's affairs. The city parties were interested in 
the Stephen Men-itt BTirial Comj^any, New York, and they told the 
Trustees of Oak Hill Cemetery that they would place them in charge 
of this gi'ound they would make great improvements thereon and cause 
a great sale of plots to their friends in tlie city. A majority of the 
Tnistees believed the story told them, and five of them resigned 
so that the remaining four could appoint the New York men in 
tlieir places. Those. apix)inted were: Rev. Ross Taylor, "W. Baldwin, 
S. T. Dennis, V. E. Prentiss and Frank E. Campbell. This action was 
all taken \vithout the previous knowledge of the public, and tlic now 
members of the Board, constituting a majority, purchased an additional 
plot of ground to the cemetery for $1,500, marked it off in plots, placed 
a value upon each plot and issued shares, or what they called "certificates 
of indebtedness," to the amount of $200,000 ! 

When this action became known to the plot-owners they boeanic 
aroused, held a public meeting and retained Congressman A. S. Tom]> 
kins to take legal proceedings to overthrow what the new men had done. 
Rev. Ross Taylor had been made chaimian of the Board, and the annual 
meeting of plot-owners, for the election of three Trustees, held in 
August, 1900, was more largely attended than any meeting ever held 
before. The crowd was angTV and would not permit President Taylor 
til preside. When the time for election came Mr. Taylor and his law- 
yer attempted to vote the certificates of iTidelitedness which tliey had 



392 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

witli them, so as to oiit-vote the plot-owners, but the crowd wouhl not per- 
mit this, and John D. Blauvelt, Warren D. Sawyer and James E. Sher- 
wood, of Nj'ack, were elected. The matter was taken lx?fore the Supreme 
Court, Avhcre tlie acts of Koss Taylor and his associates were proved 
illegal and the certificates of indebtedness of no value whatever. The 
last member of the Board from New York city lias since been ousted, 
and the affaire of Oak Hill Cemeterj' are now in better condition than 
for many years past. John D. Blauvelt is President of the Board and J. 
L. Halstead is Superintendent. 

ROCKLAND CEMETEEY. 

Rockland Cemetery, above Piermont, with an existence equal in 
term of years to that of Oak Hill Cemetery, has lately gTown in interest 
and in beauty. It faces the broad Tappan Zee on the east, while from 
the third plateau, on a perfectly clear day, may be seen the tops of spars 
of vessels on Long Island Sound. This plateau has within a few years 
been made famous by the burial of several prominent persons, includ- 
ing the late Lieut.-Commander Gomnge, who a few yeai"s ago brought 
to this country the obelisk which lias since adorned Central Park, and 
not far away from the Gorringe plot are buried the remains of Gen. 
John C. Fremont, the great "American Pathfinder." 

Rockland Cemetery has an area of about 200 acres. Its founder 
was the late Eleazer Lord, who conceived the plan in 1847 of provid- 
ing a burial place for some of the dead of New York city. Mr. Lord's 
plans were put into execution, but when, in 1862, the Erie railroad ter- 
minus, which had been at Piermont, was changed to Jersey City, the 
population of that region gieatly decreased, and the cemetery matters 
were brovight almost to a standstill. Early in the spring of 1880 Wil- 
liam H. Whiton, an extensive lajid o\vner of Piermont, in conjunction 
w^th several other prominent men, revived Mr. Lord's project. They 
constructed miles of excellent, smooth roads, and bridges, iiistic houses, 
arbors, seats, etc. were built. The improvements cost over $50,000. 
Since that time the career of the cemeteiy has been a prosperous one. 
George O. Martine is the Superintendent. 

TELEPHONE SERVICE IN ORANGETOWN. 
Orangetown was the first town in Rockland county to have telephone 
service and Nyack was the first village. Before the service was intro- 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 393 

(hieod liorc in a practical way, a man intcrosted in extending tlio inven- 
tion, to show its nsefulnoss liirod the Xyack Opera Ilonse and connected 
it by wire with the public schcwl building. Telephones were p)ut in both 
places and those who so desired were allowed to converse between those 
two places. The long distance telephones had not yet been invente<l, 
but the unimproved kind that were then used were a wonder to the 
people. 

Soon afterward it was learned that Xyack was to have regular tel- 
ephone service, and an exchange was established in the Commercial 
building by the Westchester Telephone Company on October 15, 1883, 
with Edgar P. Blauvclt as manager. This company continued the ser- 
vice until July Ist, 1S9G, when it was absorbed by the New York Tel- 
ephone Company, which began at once to improve the service and the 
patronage rapidly increased. Within the last two years exchanges have 
lieen opened in Sufi'ern, Spring Valley and Piennont, and the company's 
lines extend all through the county, except in the northern part,, where 
in Haverstraw, Garncr^'ille, West Ilaverstraw and Stony Point, the 
Hudson Eiver Telephone Company have control. Mr. E. E. Blau\'elt 
gave up the position of manager for some time a few years ago, but for 
several years since he has again been in charge and now manages the 
service all over the county where the New York company's lines extend. 

OEANGETOWN IN THE CIVIL WAR. 

Orangetown led the county in olitaining recruits for the Union army 
in tJie Civil War. Immediately after President Lincoln's call for vol- 
unteers recruiting was begun in Nyack, and by May 1st, 1861, Company 
(} of the Seventeenth Eegiment, N. Y. Volunteei's, was enrolled and 
ready for service. This company was as follows: 

Ofhcers — James M. Demarcst, Captain; Luther Caldwell, First 
Lieutenant; James II. Christie, Second Lieutenant; S. C. Mabie, Brevet 
Second Lieutenant; William Matthews, Orderly Sergeant; Charles H. 
Hawkins, Second Sergeant- Jacob Baker, Third Sergeant; George E. 
Ingalls, Fourth Sergeant; Anthony Lydecker, First Corporal; Towt J. 
Waldron, Second Corporal; Charles II. Putnam, Third Corporal; George 
Phillil>s, Fourth Corporal. 

Privates — Heni-y Bolmer, J. H. Bennett, David Baker, Isaac Blau- 
velt, Philip Bertenshaw, Harvey Curtis, John II. Conover, John Daily, 



394 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

George Dcvoe, George Decker, David Diitcher, Jacob Dutcher, Wil- 
liam II. Dealing, James JST. Dines, James Driscoll, William Ennis, 
(icorgc I'lister, Anthony Foster, T. V. Foley, Alfred Gan-abrant, George 
Hawkins, Bernard Harrison, Joseph Ilotl'man, AVilliam Ives, James 
Knfipp, George Lyons, Charles Meissner, W. Mondawka, Joseph ^Min- 
nerly, George Neve, Walter B. Neal, John II. Palmer, John Pareells, 
Bnrrell Pntney, Alexander liydcr, John II. Pyder, David Rose, Dennis 
Salters, I. D. Smith, Thomas See, George Tremper, A. G. Thompson, 
Edgar N. Waldron, William J. Waldron, Carrol S. Waldron, Adam 
White, Eichard White, Ili'nry Wood, John N. Wood, Daniel Wood, 
Daniel Wootten, Isaac Dean, Daniel Dean, William II. Baker. 

Company G left Nyaek on the morning of Thursday, May 9, 18G1, 
by the steamboat Isaac P. Smith for New York, where it remained until 
June 14, when it was transferred to Staten Island. There the men 
received their uniforms, and on June 21st they started for Washington. 
The 17tli Regiment did valient service and won honors in its work 
toward saving the Union. 

A relief organization was formed at a meeting held on May 24tli, 
1861, to take measures toAvard aiding the families of the voluntcei-s who 
might be in want. The officers of this organization were: President, 
D. D. Smith; Vice Presidents, I. S. Lydecker, A. L. Christie, Tunis 
Smith, George Green, D. D. Demarest, J. W. Towt, Peter DePew, 
David J. Blauvelt, Ferdinand S. Nichols, Isaac Hart, John Y. Buit, 
William B. Collins; Secretaries, William Yoorhis, Daniel Biut, Colonel 
Isaac Sloat; Treasurer, Daniel D. Demarest. 

After the departure of C'onipany G, 17th Regiment, volunteering 
continiied in Nyaek and not a very long time elapsed before forty-three 
members of Companies A and E of the 127th Regiment, N. Y. Volun- 
teers, had enlisted: William H. Ayers, Edward H. Ackerraan, James 
Ackcrman, William A. Benson, Isaac Brewer, Sr., Cornelius A. Chris- 
tie, David I. Christie, George Cooper, Augustus Conover, -Jr., James 
Creany, Samuel Conklin, Hem-y DeBaun, John DeBaim, Simeon For- 
shay, James Fields, Thomas Gavey, John Henderson, George Hoffman, 
P. Hefferman, Richard Kelly, Alfred Lowdie, James Murray, Jesse 
Osborne, Josiah Rhodes, John Rutherford, Charles Rodgers, Daniel 
Scott, Tunis D. Seaman, Albert Waldron, Henry E. Smith, George 
Smith, Charles H. Sncdcker, Alfred G. Thomp.son, Bmndage Tompkins, 




CAPTAIN JtlEL WILSON, U. S. V., A. M. 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 395 

James Tompkins, Edward Tucker, Peter Tallman, Charles II. Warner, 
Thomas Y. W. Warner, -T. Bradley Ware, Thomas Welsli, George AV. 
Wood, John Ward. 

The following- volunteers in the Sixth N. Y. Heavy Artillery enlisted 
from ()rangeto^vn: Captain Wilson DeftMidorf, John 0. Daily, Charles 
Dean, John Dean, Isaac IVlter, Frank ]\I. llaeselbarth, William J. Jor- 
dan, Charles Meissner, Jr., George Phillips, John II. Wootten, Andrew 
Dorfner. 

Among the other volunteers who went from OrangetoAvn in different 
companies were: Abram Bolmer, Isaac Blanch, Lemuel Hudson, 
George A. Ennis, Henry Ennis, William E. Tuttle, Frank B. Jones, 
.lohn II. Jone*, George II. Jones, Wallace (xilman, John H. Miller, 
George H. Phillips, Louis E. Hagen, Charles McElroy, George Quick, 
Ivohert C. Walker, Levi Van Riper, Jacob E. Westervelt. James L. 
Fcnton was in the 1st Regiment, Yolunteer Engineers. 

The above list is not complete, nor is it pos.sible to make it so, as 
no complete muster rolls or other records are obtainable, Init it is the 
very best, that can be made up from the data obtainable. 

Many men were drafted from Orangetown in the drawing which 
began at Tarrytown on July 20th, 1863, but they were not obliged to go 
to war, for at a special town meeting it was voted to borrow $30,000 on 
the credit of Orangetown, to pay the exemption fee of $300 for ever}' 
one who was drafted. This money helped to pay for substitutes, many 
of whom were willing to go for the bounty which they received and at 
the same time do seiwice for the maintenance of the Government. A 
second draft took place on May 9th, 1864, but Orangetown had filled 
her quota. President Lincoln made his third call for men on July IS, 
1864, and to meet this demand the people of Orangetown voted to raise 
the bounty of $300 per volunteer. Filling lier quota by this means, 
Orangcto^vn was not drawn upon for men. 

ORANGETOWN IN THE SPANISH WAR. 

When the Nation was aroused by the blowing up of the Maine in 
Ilavanu harbor in February, 1898, the same spirit of patriotism which 
scut a thrill tlu-ough the young manhood of Orangetown in the early 
'(iO's was again manifested, and many young men, including some who 
were too young for Uncle Sam's service, expressed a desire to enlist 



3% HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

under his flag in a war against Spain. While there was no certainty at 
that time that vsucli a war would take place, these young men were anx- 
ious to be among the first in line, and a call for volunteei's was issued 
in Nyack. On April IG a meeting was held in the Grand Anny rooms 
and it was then decided to form either a militia company or a company 
of volunteei's. This was the first move made in Rockland county toward 
the organization of such a company, and it was successful, for more 
than fifty young men enrolled their names, although a number of them 
afterward failed to pass a medical examination and were thus disqual- 
ified. Mr. George E. Baldwin, of the Seventh Regiment, took them 
in charge and aided them in their preparations. Other meetings were 
afterward held and the interest became intensified. 

These recruits were ready when war became imminent, and on ]\Iay 
13 they were ordered to the State camp at Peekskill, where they were 
mustered into the 12th Kegiment, N. Y. Vols. On May 27th the regi- 
ment left Peekskill for New York on the steamer Glen Island and from 
there wei-e taken to Chickamauga, where they went into camp. Later 
in the fall they were transfeiTcd to camp at Lexingion, Ivy. On Dec. 
27th the regiment was sent to Matanzas, Cuba, and remained there until, 
on March 8th, 1889, the soldiers were ordered home, to be mustered out. 
Before leaAdug for Cuba, however, two of the Xyack boys. Privates How- 
ard Wyre and James G. Conklin, were discharged because of ill health 
and came home. Tlie Twelfth did not see active service in battle, but 
in their camp life they were loyal to every duty and ready for any call 
that might come to them. 

Those in the Twelfth Regiment from Orangetown, most of them 

from Nyack, were: 

lieliringer, Geo. F. Gesner, Harry 

Reihringer, Chas. A. Green. Edw-iard 

P.liven, Robert A. Handy, Frank W. 

Uliven, Albert A. Morf, Fred. 

Bolmer, Ra-y Mitoliell, Peiter 

liliauvelt, Louis (Corp.) Prindle, Charles 

Conklin, .Tames G. S^a<?h, Max 

Cogg-esliall, Lonis I. Wood, Kdn-ard 

De\ine, T. .T. Wobie, Geiorge A. 

Oaris, G. F. W. Kessler, John H. 

Daly, John O Leary, T. J. 

l^eiter, Clyde Stoothoif, Robt. C. 

Fenton, Fred. L. Vanderhoof, Harry 

Frae, Fra,nk Williams, Harry 

Wyre, Howard 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 



397 



The soldiers iu the Twelfth Regimeut were not the only volunteers 
from Orangetowu. Other branches of service were well represented 
Iroui this town, as follows: 



Atlee, Porter 
Babcock, Philip 
ilasterton, Seymour 
Sturtevant, Geo. A. 



Adriaiice, J. H. 
Lewis, J. L. (Serg-t.) 
Whitma.n, Frank H. 



NAVAL RESERVES. 

Babeoc'k, Robert 
Cbristie, Chester 
Sawyer, Warren L. 
Weeks, James 

7th N. Y. VOLUNTEERS. 

Schuster, C. Henry 



Bannister, Clyde 
ilcGinley, James 



Fluhr, Augustus 



Bakhv-in, William 



Crawford, Merribt 



Peeke, E. C. Benedict 



Bleecker, Oapt. A. J. 
Diedric'k, Joseph 

8th N. Y. VOLUNTEERS. 

Slocum, Fred. 
Tallman, John H. 

U. S. NAVY. 

MeMaihon, Thomas 
Lieut. Harlowe 

9th N. Y. VOLUNTEERS. 

Brawley, John 

1st NEBRASIvA VOLUNTEERS. 

Myers, Otto E. 

203d N. Y. VOLUNTEERS. 

Knapp, Clyde (Corp.) 

ASTOR BATTERY. 

Bobbins, N. C. 

PHILADELPHIA LIGHT ARTILLERY. 

Smith, Harold P. (Corp.) 

22d N. Y. VOLUNTEERS. 
Huyler, Geo. S. 

4Tth N. Y. VOLUNTEERS. 
Kuhn, Frank 

201st N. Y. VOLUNTEERS. 

Moore, Francis V. R. 

Is-t VOLUNTEER ENGINEERS. 

\\%alen, Matthew 

22d U. S. INFANTRY. 
Miller, Wdlliam 

TROOP A. 

Bradley, S. Rowe 



398 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

23d U. S. INFANTRY. 
Hauseman, Eudolpli (Serg-t.) 

42d U. S. INFANTRY. 
Sutton, Charles W. 

Of those in tlie above named roll two are dead, rorporal Harold 
P. Smith and Private AVilliam Baldwin, of the Philadelphia Light 
Ai-tillery, contracted a fever in Porto Rico, which grew worse on the 
sliip as they came home. Both appeared to be doing well at their homes 
here, when Coi-poral Smith grew snddenly worse and unexpectedly died 
on Sept. 12, 1898. He had a military funeral and burial, largely 
attended and very impressive. Private Baldwin was seriously ill for a 
long time, but finally recovered. 

Private Charles Sutton enlisted in the Forty-second Regiment in 
October, 1900, to do service in the Philippines. He died near Manila, 
of dysentery, on March 18, 1901, and his remains were brought to his 
home in Nyack, from which place they were taken to the Grerman bury- 
ing ground in Clarkstown for intennent. 

Private William Miller, of the 22nd Infantry, while on a transport 
off Cuba, caught his foot in a tow line and crushed the foot so badly 
that amputation was necessary. 

N. C. Robbins, of the Astor Battery, was in sevei'al severe engage- 
ments in the Philippines, and on one occasion a bullet pierced his cloth- 
ing, but he escaped unhurt. 

On the afternoon of April 5, 1899, a parade of all the returned sol- 
diers took place in Nyack, joined by the firemen and many citizens, and 
in the evening a banquet was given them in the Opera House, followed 
by speeches. 

During the war a Woman's Airxiliary was fonned in Nyack through 
the aid of Miss Helen M. Gould, and several soldiers' homes for sick 
and convalescent soldiers were opened in this place and continued until 
October. 

PROTESTANT CHURCHES OF ORANGETOWN. 

TAPPAN REFORMED CHURCH. 

The Tappan Reformed Church was the first church organization in 
Rockland county. The early Dutch settlers of Orangetown had reli- 
gious instincts and connections which led them to band themselves 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 399 

together for the worsliip of God, aud on October 24, 1694, eight years 
after the settlement of the Orangetown patent, tliey organized a society 
known as the "Low Dutcli Reformed Chnrch of Tappan." This churcli 
body was weak in worldly means, althongli strong in faith, and twenty- 
two years elapsed before it possessed an edifice in which to worship. The 
I\ev. Ciuilliam Bertholf, who was pastor of the United Churches of 
Hackeusack and Acquackanonck, conducted the first services for the 
Tappan Church people, and ix'rformed the ministrations of his office for 
them. Mr. Bertholf was a native of Holland and came to America as 
a school teacher, catechiser and voorleser, which means a leader in sing- 
ing, reading of scriptures and prayer. His work covered a large field, 
as he was the first regularly installed preacher in the State of New Jer- 
sey, and was also the only Dutch pastor in that State dviring the first 
fifteen yeai-s of his ministry. His duties consisted of spiritual work fur 
all the Dutch people on the west side of the Hudson river as far north 
as the southern boundary of Ulster county, and also for those of Staten 
Island and Tarrytown. His salaiy in 1717 was £50 a year. 

The Tappan congregation grew under Mr. Bertholf's i:)astoi'ute, and 
in 1716 they built a church, a square stone edifice, upon the site occupied 
by the present church building. The congregation called its first reg- 
ular pastor, the Rev. Frederic Muzelius, in 1724, aaid he remained in 
charge of this flock for twenty-five years. In 1749 Mr. Muzelius was 
relieved from active duty and made pastor emei-itiis. By this time a 
large part of the rest of the county had become settled, and the resi- 
dents miles north of Tappan formed a separate church organization 
under the title of the Low Dutch Christian Refonned Church of New 
Hempstead. Three years after this the old (^larkstown church building- 
was erected. 

The Rev. Samuel Verbryck was called to the Tappan Church on 
July 17th, 1750, and in this "call" the Clarkstown Churcli was included. 
When he entered upon his duties he did not have a smooth sea ahead 
upon which to sail. There was considerable dissension over questions 
of church government and Mr. Verbryck found himself in "hot water" 
a great part of the time. He; remained in this ]iastorate, however, until 
his death, on January 31, 1784, aged 84 years. 

The Rev. Nicholas Lansing was the third pastor of the Church, being 
called on August 11, 1874. "Dominie Lansing," as he is familiarly 



400 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

referred to by tlie descendants of the families of bis time, commanded 
the respect of everyone and ^vichlcd a powerful and wide influence. In 
1830 Mr. Lansing gave up the ClarkstowTi church and remained in 
charge of the Tappan Church until his death, on September 26th, 1835, 
aged 87 years. 

The Rev. Isaac D. Cole became the next pastor of the Tappan 
Church. He was a native of Rockland County, having been born at 
New City, on January 25th, 1799. Mr. Cole remained in this chiirch 
until February 9th, 1864. He died on August 30th, 1878, at Spring 
Valley, aged 79 years. The Rev. George M. S. Blauvelt was pastor of 
this church from 1864 until 1882, when he was followed by the Rev. 
Williamson. The Rev. M. H. Oliver is the present pastor. 

PIERMONT REF0R:MED CHURCH. 

The Reformed Church of Piennont was organized on January 27, 
1839. The Rev. C. C. Vermiule was stated siipply imtil September, 
1842, when the Rev. Cornelius E. Crispell, who is now pastor of the 
Refoiined Church at Spring Valley, and celebrated his 82nd birthday 
on 'March 14, 1902, was ordained and installed as pastor at Piermont. 
This church has had the following pastors: 1842-1847, C. E. Crispell; 
1847-1850, Daniel Lord; 1850-1851, J. Romeyn BeiTy; 1852-1855, 
Jacob West,; 1857-1859, A. I). Lam-ence Jewett: 1860-1865, Henry E. 
Decker; 1865-1871, Augustus F. Todd; 1872-1887, William C. Stitt; 
1887-1893, J. Russell Verbryck; 1894-1900, Edward S. Ralston. The 
Rev. Dr. Hasbrouck is the present pastor. This church celebrated its 
sixtieth annivei-saiy on January 27 and 29th, 1899, ^vith elaborate 
services. 

PIERMONT M. E. CHTJRCH. 

The first Methodist preacher came to Piermont, as near as the rec- 
oi'ds show, in the year 1810, and serAnees were held in the .school building 
in the evenings of week days. Services were held at different times 
after that for years. Those who have searched the records say there is 
no knowledge of a distinct Methodist Church society there before 1854. 
In the spring of 1857 Piermont was made a regular charge in connec- 
tion with the other places, and in 1856 the pi'esent church edifice was 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 401 

built, but not in its present condition, as it has been greatly improved 
within the last decade, and is now in a flourishing condition — more so, 
probably, than ever before since its institution. Among the pastors who 
have been sent by conference to this church are the following, from 
1882: Rev. C. E. Snyder, 1882; Eev. W. C. Nelson, 1883; Eev. E. V. 
King, 1885; Eev. W. W. Vanderhoff, 1888; Eev. E. B. Lockwood, 
1891 (for five years); Eev. H. C. Bice, 1896; Eev. S. D. Harris, 1897; 
Eev. C. S. Kemble, 1889; Eev. George Angleman, 1900, to the pres- 
ent time. 

PEESBYTEEIAN CHUECH OF BLAUVELT. 

The Presbyterian Church at Blauvelt, known for years as the Green- 
bush Presbyterian Church, which name still clings to the organization 
through ties of sacred fellowship and association, was organized on the 
evening of October 18, 1812. The Eev. Eliphalet Price was appointed 
by Presbytery to preach to the congregation on that date and take the 
necessary measures to form the church society. The church organiza- 
tion was formed with ten members. 

The Eev. Andrew Thompson, the first pastor of the chnrch, was 
installed in 1814, and was dismissed June 2, 1833. The church society 
held their services in the upper room of the Greenbush Academy for 
several years. The first church edifice was built of stone and occupied 
the site of the present building. It was erected in 1823 and dedicated 
January 14th, 1824. Abram G. Blauvelt gave the ground in deed bear- 
ing the date May 21st, 1823. This church building was desti'oyed by 
fire on September 18th, 1835. A new edifice was erected in 183G and 
was dedicated April 5th, 1837. On October 24th, 1882, the second 
church building was burned, with the parsonage, and in 1883 the pres- 
ent church was built and was dedicated November 27th of that year. 

The pastors of this chiu-ch since the Eev. Abram Thompson have 
been as follows: Eev. Jared Dening, installed April 24, 1834; dismissed 
October 8, 1855. Eev. Thomas J. Evans, stated supply November 12, 
1855; installed June 17, 1856, and dismissed in October, 1877. Eev. 
Henry E. Decker, supply from October, 1877, till November 11, 1883. 
Eev. Charles H. Lester, stated supply till 1884. Eev. Charles S. Hage- 
man, D. P., stated supply till July 3, 1887; in his absence Eev. 0. E. 
Blauvelt, Ph. D., of Nyack, ofliciating. Rev. Erederic J. Stanley, pas- 
tor, called July 24, 1887; installed October 26, 1887, and dismissed 



402 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

June 16, 1889. Rev. Hermau A. Goff, stated supply from April 1, 
1890, till 1891. Rev. Charles A. Redgrave, pastor, called September 
20, 1891; never installed, and resigned May 24r, 1893. Rev. Joseph 
McCarrell Leiper, called as stated supply October 2, 1893; called iis 
pastor April 4, 1894; installed October 30, 1894, and still pastor of this 
church. 

CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SPARKILL. 

The first service in accordance with the rites of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church at Piermont was held in 1847, by the Rev. AVilliam 
Walker, in Dr. Lord's lime kiln building. At a meeting of the congre- 
gation held at the residence of one of the members on March 1st, 1848, 
the Christ Church parish was organized and the articles of incorporation 
were filed in the County Clerk's office on April 10, 1848. The Rev. 
William Walker resigned in 1848, and the Rev. John C. Sterling suc- 
ceeded him. In the fall of 1849 the Rev. Solomon G. Hitchcock suc- 
ceeded him. 

In 1864 Thomas E. Blanch gave the land on which the present 
church stands, the chiu'ch was commenced and on January 20, 1865, 
the corner-stone was laid. The building was consecrated September 
7th, 1866. The Rev. S. G. Hitchcock continued as pastor imtil his 
death, on September 14th, 1877. He was succeeded by the Rev. Joseph 
M. Waite, the Rev. Theodore M. Peck and the Rev. F. Ward Denys. 
The Rev. Mr. Denys came to the church in 1890, and through his active 
work, in which he was heartily aided by members and friends of the 
church,, he broiight about many improvements. The church building 
was enlarged by the addition of a parish house, which doubled the seat- 
ing capacity, and other improvements, both inside and out, were made. 
In 1898 the fiftieth anniversary of the church was celebrated with 
elaborate and interesting services. Mr. Denys resigned his charge on 
account of ill health, and left the church on May 1st, 1899. He is suc- 
ceeded by the Rev. Arthur H. Proffit, wdio can-ies on his work very suc- 
cessfully. 

BAPTIST CHURCH AT PIERMONT. 

A Baptist Church was organized at Piennont in 1817, as an aux- 
iliary of the Middletowu Church, and continued in that connection until 
1839, when the communicants at Piermont were constituted an inde- 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 403 

pendent Baptist Church, under tlie name of tlie First Baptist Church of 
Pienuont. The Rev. A. M. Toi'bet was pastor of this church until 
November, 1842, and he was followed by others until, finally, a few 
yeai-s ago, the services closed and the church closed. The last pastor 
there was the Rev. E. Crowell, who subsequently removed to Jfyack, 
where he I'esided until 1900, when his wife died and he went, at the age 
of 82 years, to live with relatives in Massachusetts. 

PALISADES M. E. CHURCH. 

The Methodist Church at Palisades was built and dedicated in 1832. 
The organization of the chiu'ch society here was due to the efforts of 
Moses Taylor and his wife, who established a class in 1820, and, through 
their influence, with other earnest co-workers, the society grew larger 
and stronger. In 1858 the congregation realized the urgent need of a 
larger church building, and one was erected in that year. Bishop Janes 
dedicated the new edifice on May 15, 1859. 

TAPPAN M. E. CHURCH. 

A Methodist Church society was formed at Tappan in 1854, and in 
185C they purchased the edifice which had been built in 182G for the 
True Refonned Church Society. In 1806 the society sold the building 
to the German M. E. Society, which soon became very strong. 

PALISADES PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. 

The Presbyterian Church of Palisades was formally organized by 
the Presb^^ery of New York on October 14th, 1863, and the Rev. J. 
Greenleaf, Jr., was installed as pastor on October 21st of that year. The 
foundation of the chiu'ch was begim in June, 1863, and in December 
of that year the building was completed. The first religious service in 
the new building was held January 3rd, 1864. 

The pastors have been: Rev. J. Greenleaf, Jr., fi'om October 21, 
1863; Rev. John K. Demarest, from October 16, 1866, to February 13, 
1870; Rev. Aaron H. Hand, D. D. from October 18, 1870, to Septem- 
ber, 1879; Rev. J. W. McUvain, from December 26, 1879, to Septem- 
ber 30, 1882; Rev. Newton S. Reed followed, and the Rev. Mr. Ford 
is the present pastor. 



404 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

NYACK CHUECHES. 

Acknowledg-ement is g-iven to K. H. Fenton for the history of the 
Nyack Churches. ■ 

The early settlers of Xyack were mostly of the first and second gen- 
erations of Dutch emigrants and they were, like their Puritan neigh- 
bors, a religions people. They brought with them their huge, clasped 
Bibles and emplanted their rigorous principles in the community, such 
as a reverence for the Sabbath and a strict adherence to all the ordi- 
nances of the church. The first house of worship, as is shown in another 
chapter, was established at Tappan in 1694, and from that time for over 
a century it sei'\fed as their objective point and source of attraction each 
Sabbath, although it was a long distance away. To reach the religious 
services it was necessary for them to travel a distance of about seven 
miles in going and another seven to return, but the interest they took 
in their church stimulated them to thus travel all through these years. 
Occasionally the early domanies would visit the neighborhood, once a 
year, at least, and at such times when there were wedding celebrations, 
or when called upon to speak words of consolation over the dead, and 
sometimes, with a few neighbors gathered together, would exhort to 
righteousness those whom they could not otherwise reach. Religion 
among the professed Christians in those days was not the light sentiment 
it is at the present, but was recognized as bearing the fearful alternative 
of eternal misery or ever-lasting joy, to be decided with fear and trem- 
bling. Thus the foundations were laid for the high moral standing 
of the community at the present time. 

Later the church at Clarkstowm was organized and some of the peo- 
ple went to that church in pi-eference, but the distance, too, was great. 
It continvied so ^^ntil after the beginning of ISOO, when the Baptists 
and Methodists began to establish meetings in N^yack. Soon after the 
new schoolhouse was built, Elder Daniel Steers, of the Piennont and 
Middleto^\^l Baptist Churches, conducted services there occasionally. 
At about the same time the Methodist preachers began to itinerate their 
circuits along the Hudson, and in 1811 Revs. John Robertson and John 
Finley were appointed to the ISTyack circuit. 

In 1812 the Presbyterian Church at Greenbush (now Blauvelt) was 
organized and several families from Nyack attended service there reg- 
ularly. An effort was made in the same year by some of the people of 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 405 

JvTyack to have a church organized here in connection with the one in 
Clarkstown, lest some other denomination should erect a building and 
tlius draw together the supporters of that church. The C'lassis of the 
Dutch Eeformed Church refused to grant the request, and it was there- 
fore resolved to build a Methodist Church. A lot was secured in Upper 
Nyack and through the efforts of William Palmer, Nicholas Williamson 
and John Green, the little stone church was built, in 1813. 

Notwithstanding the existence of a Methodist Church and the occa- 
sional meetings in the schoolhouse, a number of the families adhered to 
the Presbyterian Church at Blauvelt, and it is recorded that on January 
13th, 1816, a meeting of session was held at Nyack. At that meeting 
Joshua Brush, Ann Brush, Robert Hart, Phoebe Hart, John Van 
Houten, Catherine Van Houten, Catherine Tallman, Catherine Hub- 
l)ard, Susanna Smith, Mary Ramsay and !Mary Sarvent were "admitted 
to the privileges of the Lord's Supper." On -January l-ith Isaac Dutcher 
and James Springsted were received on pi-ofession of faith. Soon after 
this Robert Hart and John Van Houten, Jr., were made Ruling Eldere 
in the church at Greenbush. On April 8th, 1816, the "Presbyterian 
Society of Nyack" was taken under the care of the Greenbush Church, 
by appointment of the Presbytery of Hudson. Rev. Andrew Thompson 
was the first pastor of the united congregations, having been installed 
about the year 1813. At the time the society was organized, in 1816, 
a lot was procured from the DePcw property, and a small stone church 
erected on the site still owned by them on Broadway. The ground was 
given on the condition that when a building was put up, the Baptists 
should be allowed to worship there on alternate Sabbaths, but after a 
sliort time Elder Steers died and the Baptist society was dissolved. 

In 1830 another church society began to materialize in the com- 
munity. The membei-s of the Reformed Dutch at Clarkstown, who 
lived in the village, began to grow tired of traveling so far, and not 
wishing to unite with the Methodist or Presbyterian, they held services 
of their own. These were on Simday afternoons, first in the Presby- 
terian Church, then in private houses, and later in the Mansion House. 
On June 1st, 1835, they met at the house of Peter Smith, who gave a 
lot of ground on which to build. It was deeded to John Lydecker, Tunis 
Smith, Abram A. Tallman and Cornelius T. Smith, as trustees. The 
builder was Thomas Burd and the cost was a little over $2,000. It was 
dedicated May 29th, 1836. The congregation .still remained connected 



406 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

with the one at Clarkstown and Rev. Alexander H. Warner preached 
here alternately until 1837., when his siiccessor, Rev. Peter J. Quick, 
came, and officiated until the following year. On April 24th, 1838, the 
congregation was organized into a separate chiu'ch and Rev. Philip 
Milledoler Brett was ordained pastor on the 13th of September, 1838. 
He was highly spoken of as a scholar and preacher and Christian gentle- 
man. While here he had a son. born — Rev. Cornelius Brett — who 
became one of the best known ministers of the denomination. Mr. 
Brett remained imtil August, 1842, when he ^vithdrew, owing to ill- 
health. He died in Brooklyn in 1860, aged 42 years. 

His successor was Rev. Charles S. Hageman, who came in 1842. He 
was a preacher of great ability and remained for ten years, when he was 
called to a larger church at Poughkeepsie. Dr. Hageman, on retiring 
from active service, returned to Nyack to live. He died at Riverdale, 
N. Y., October 20th, 1901, over 84 years of age. 

The third pastor was Rev. Benjamin VanZandt, who was installed 
in April, 1853, and resigned in January, 1856, to become principal of 
the Rockland Female Institute. He died in 1895, aged about 86 years. 

Next came Rev. Daniel Lord. He became pastor March 11th, 1857, 
and remained until May 1st, 1860. As a preacher he was original and 
theatrical in his style and eloquent in delivery. Dr. Cole, in his descrip- 
tion of the Reformed Church pastors, says: "He was fluent and viva- 
cious; of a quick nerve, bright temperament, and a magnet to all arovmd 
Jiim; and as a preacher he was true to the word, to his master and to 
souls." He died September 10th, 1899, at Jordansville, N. Y., in his 
own pulpit, in a church to which he had returned the third time as pas- 
tor. He was stricken with apoplexy just after he gave out a hymn and 
died as he was beginning to sing it with his people. 

Next came Rev. Uriah Marvin, and his pastorate laste<l ten years, 
from April, 1860, to October, 1870. He was considered a very able 
preacher, both in the delivery and in the instructiveness of his sennons. 
He died in 1898, aged 83 years. 

The sixth pastor was Rev. Henry V. Voorhees, who served from 
1870 to 1878. He died in 1897, aged 72 years. Dr. Cole says: "He 
will be best rememl)ered for the splendid imagei'y and gorgeous diction 
of his sennons and addresses, all written out to the end with the most 
stiidious elaboration. As a word painter he was almost without a rival." 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 407 

Mr. Voorhees always used written sermons, but the brilliancy of his 
eloquence was fully displayed in his extemporaneous addresses. 

Following him was Eev. William H. McCorkle, a stated supply from 
September, 1878, to April, 1881. Then came as regular pastor Rev. 
William Hendee Clark, serving from June, 1881, to May, 1886. Mr. 
Clark was very active in his pastoral duties, and is best remembered for 
his efforts to promote law and order and morality in the community at 
large. 

Rev. John Cornelius Van Deventer came next. He was installed 
October 6th, 1886, and died November 8th, 1892, at the parsonage. 
T)r. Cole speaks of him as "modest in spirit, refined in manner, clear as 
a preacher, devoted to his work, he was most dearly beloved by his peo- 
ple and will be enshrined in their heai-ts as long as memory lasts." His 
death was caused by kidney trouble, having been growing worse for the 
past two years. He was 44 years of age. 

The church then called Rev. William J. Leggett, who began his 
pastorate April 2d, 1893. During many years past the church building 
had become in a condition to need extensive repairs, and so, in 1900, 
by reason of a generous donation from Mrs. GaiTet Van Nostrand, they 
were enabled to build a new chapel, and in 1901 took down the old 
frame structure and built in front of the chapel an elegant new brick 
church. Rev. Mr. Leggett resigned just before the close of the year. 
As a pastor he was faithful to his duties and was held in high esteem, 
and as a preacher he expounded the pure gospel, always avoiding the 
sensational. He had a fine deliveiy and as an extemporaneous speaker 
he was forceful and eloquent. 

The new edifice of the Reformed people is a fine building and has 
a large, heavy tower on the northeast corner, in which is a town clock 
with illuminated dials, an improvement over the former one that the old 
building contained. The church is an ornament to the town and well 
pei-petTiates the memory of Mrs. Garret Van Nostrand, whose husband 
was formerly one of the leaders in the official membership of the organ- 
ization. A new organ was also placed in the auditorium. It was the 
work of Michael A. Clark, the well known organ builder, and cost 
$3,000. The new church was dedic<atcd on the evening of March 26th, 
1902, Rev. J. Preston Scarle, D. D., of New Brunswick Seminaiy, 
preaching the sermon. 



408 HISTORY OP ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

In 1S34 a change ocenrrecl in tlie pastorate of tlie Presbyterian 
Churcli by the retirement of Rev. Andrew Thompson, and Rev. Jared 
Dewing taking his place. Of the first pastor, Mr. Thompson, who was, 
for so many years, a familiar visitor in the scattered homes of the little 
community, much might be said in regard to his high qualifications for 
the ministry; his gentlemanly bearing, Christian virtues and ability in 
the puljjit. Hon. J. W. Ferdon speaks of him as "a man of imposing 
manners, with a mind of superior natural power, highly cultivated, 
which made him strong in the pidpit;" and in describing him and Rev. 
Mr. Wyukoop, of the Hempstead Church, says that "when they joined 
in a contest of mind with mind, as they often did, in the temperance and 
Bible societies, they each drew blades as keen and polished and pliant 
as those of Damascus." 

In 1839 the stone church was taken down and a larger frame build- 
ing erected. In 183S the Baptists made a second effort, this time under 
the lead of Elder Griffeth, to establish a congregation, but did not suc- 
ceed. In 18-1:2 the Methodists, having flourished so well, built a new 
frame church on Picrmont avenue, and ten years later began support- 
ing pastors of their own. The first pastors of the church were: W. 
Robertson, 1853; Benjamin Day, 1854; A. L. Brice, 1856; J. N. Felch, 
1858; R. B. Yard, 1859; James Ayres, 1861; R. B. Lockwood, 1863; 
B. O. Parvin, 1865; Solomon Parsons, 1867; S. H. Opdyke, 1869; S. 
B. Rooney, 1871; C. E. Little, 1872. The later appointments to this 
clnirch were: Revs. S. H. Baldwin, Elbert Clement, W. S. Gallaway, 
J. R. Daniels, William Day, E. P. Hammond, C. S. Woodruff, J. I. Bos- 
well, E. C. Dutcher, J. B. Taylor, J. H. Egbert and C. S. Kemble. 

Among this long list of ministers Rev. A. L. Brice ser\'ed for a long 
time in the later years of his life as a Presiding Elder. Rev. R. B. Yard 
served as chaplain of a regiment in the early part of the Rebellion. Rev. 
B. O. Parvin, while here, conducted revival meetings, which were 
attended with more than usual success, and the congregation grew much 
larger while he and his successor. Rev. S. Parsons, remained. Rev. S. B. 
Rooney was best remembered for the ability of his sermons. Rev. S. H. 
Baldwin had been a missionary to China previous to his coming to 
Nyack, and went there again later. Rev. J. Reeves Daniels was perhaps 
the best example of an active, outspoken Methodist minister of the 
entire list. Rev. William Day while here originated the ciistom for the 
churches of the village to unite in welcoming a new pastor coming to 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 409 

either of the churches by closing their own places of worship on the first 
Sunday evening. This custom has been carried out since 1880. Rev. 
C. S. Woodruff was an earnest exponent of the AVord, and Rev. J. I. 
Boswell combined both dc])th of thought and clearness of expression, 
which made him entertaining as a preacher. The present pastor, Rev. 
Charles S. Kemble, may properly be classed among the best the church 
has had. He was appointed in April, 1900. 

In 1841 the Presbyterians dissolved their connection with the Green- 
bush Church at Blauvelt and became a separate organization. Rev. 
Jared Dewing, who had been their pastor seven years, still remained 
with the Grecnbush church, while the congregation here called as pastor 
Rev. Charles M. Oakley, and he remained biit two years. During this 
time the membership, which started with 75, reached 120 or more. The 
next pastor was Rev. Joseph Penny, who remained about three and a 
half years, and was followed by Rev. Isaac S. Davison, in 1847. After 
a pastorate of five years, at a salary of $500 and parsonage, he was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. Joseph Cory, whose salary was raised to $600. Mr. 
Davison is mentioned as an "excellent preacher, a faithful pastor and a 
sincere Christian." For a period of fourteen years the Rev. Joseph 
Cory occupied the pulpit. He was a good pastor and had many friends; 
but for a season during these years the church did not prosper as it 
should, owing to the bitterness of political strife then agitating the coun- 
try and which entered into and divided many churches. In 18G7 the 
Presbytery dissolved the relations between Mr. Cory and the church, 
and a call was soon after extended to Rev. Francis L. Patton. Dr. Pat- 
ton was then a yoimg man of 26, having been a pastor but two years. 
He remained about three yeai*s and a half, during which time he im- 
proved rapidly and eventually reached the high goal of his ambition^ 
the Presidency of Princeton University. The career of Dr. Patton is too 
well kiio^ai to reqiiire further mention on these pages, but we \rill give a 
personal description of him, as found in the history of the great heresy 
ti-ial of Prof. Swing, when Dr. Patton was spoken of as the "modern 
Calvin." It says: "He is every iota the bookman, the introspective 
student. He is young — not over 35 years of age; his features are regiilar 
and his form erect" . . . "In conversation he is witty, quick and 
pleasant." . . . "His use of language is superb and his delivery 
clear, distinct and elegant." . . "When he becomes worked up in his 



410 HISTORY OF ROCKI.AND COUNTY, 

theme he speaks with a fluency and earnest vehemence that is remark- 
able and commands attention from all within the sound of his voice." 
Rev. Charles L. Thompson, D. D., gives the following pen picture of 
him: "A tall, slender, straight young man, looks directly at you tlu-ough 
a pair of spectacles, and announces his text in clear, positive tones, that 
at once suggests deep convictions. He is so very thin he looks uncom- 
fortably frail, but he comes down on his text with a solid emphasis that 
indicates no disposition to spare the flesh. He has no notes. There is 
no introduction to his sermon. He plunges straight into the argument 
in phrases far enough from stilted, and in clear-cut prepositions which 
are far enough from dullness. His tone is conversational. His manner 
is exceedingly frank and manly and his process of thought logical 
and vmhalting." .... "The thoughts succeed each other in 
such bright movement no attention can flag, and when he suddenly 
closes you realize that you have got quite a body of divinity to medi- 
tate upon." 

Dr. Patton's successor was Rev. Andrew McElroy Wylie, who came 
at a salary of $2,000, and the parsonage was enlarged to accommodate 
him. He had been an Episcopal minister for twelve years previous to 
his coming to Nyack. He is described as a man of strong intellect and 
was possessed of extensive knowledge, and his sermons were instructive 
and generally extemporaneously delivered. His death occurred at New- 
ton, Pa., in the 60tli year of his age. 

Mr. Wylie resigned in 1877, and Rev. George H. Wallace was 
ordained and installed in October, 1877. He remained about three years 
and a half, during which time, by his activity in pastoral work, the con- 
gregation grew larger than ever before. As a pulpit orator he was fluent 
and interesting and a general favorite among the younger portion of 
the congTegation. His salary was $1,200 and the use of the parsonage. 

Rev. John Elway Lloyd came in 1880 and remained seven years. 
He was a native of Wales and formerly preached to a Welsh congTe- 
gation in New York city. He was an able preacher and profoimd 
scholar. Plis sermons were of a high order and without exception extem- 
poraneous; and the large congregations which attended during his pre- 
decessor's term were maintained and increased during his seven years 
stay. He was followed by Rev. Thomas McBride Nichols, a young 



TOWN OB* ORANGETOWN. 411 

graduate of Union College, who came in 1889, and Kev. J. A. Davis, 
in 1893. 

The celebrated Eev. Samuel D. Burchard supplied the pulpit three 
months during 1889, in the interval beween the call to Mr. Nichols and 
the time for him to begin his pastorate. Mr. Nichols resigned in 1893, 
after having cleared the church from a heavy debt and burned the mort- 
gage. Dr. Burchard v^ras one of the most powerful preachers of his time, 
and although far advanced in years while here, he had not lost much of 
his eloquence and vigor. He had occupied the pulpit many times dur- 
ing the past seven years previous to this supply, and already seemed as 
familiar a fonn as if he had been a regular pastor. 

On the 24th of September, 1897, the church met with a great loss 
in the sudden death of Rev. John A. Davis. Differing from all the pre- 
\nous pastors of the church, he was an evangelist and an untiring worker, 
not only among his own congregation, but throughout the town, and his 
death was a loss to the whole community. As a preacher he was pos- 
sessed of that magnetic power which attracts people and holds their 
closest attention. He was always extemporaneous, and his words were 
simple, yet they gave evidence of a mind well stored with knowledge; 
and his familiarity with all branches of learning and political events of 
the time was surjirising. Mr. Davis had been a missionary to China and 
was author of several books pertaining to that country, the best known 
of which was "The Young Mandarin." 

The church building, which had been enlarged in 1872, was again 
enlarged in 3 899, and almost wholly made new under the lead of liev. 
Robert H. Herron, who became pastor the previous year. 

The Ruling Elders of this church since its organization have been 
as follows: Robert Hart, John VanHouten, Jr., Gan-et Tallman, Tunis 
Smith, Daniel Brady, Peter A. Smith, Dr. William Johnson, John J. 
Ackerson, Daniel M. Clark, Francis Powley, T. DePew Tallman, Isaac 
Dutehcr, Daniel D. Demarest; William H. Jersey, Seth B. Cole, Samuel 
II. Doughty, Henry C. Bro-svn, George G. DeWitt, Merritt E. Sawyer, 
O. R. Eliorthwick, Charles E. Smith, M. Watson DeBaun, Victor Acker- 
man, Edmund Hyatt, John A. Sickles, Eugene F. Perry, Williiim Keen- 
holts and Louis L. Robbins. 

Sunday schools, too, have existed from an early date, as the effec- 
tive auxiliaries of the churches. Miss Sally Hart, daughter of Robert 



412 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Hart, the Presbyterian Elder, was the pioneer in Sunday school work. 
She started the little class at her home, or in the little sclioolhouse near 
the ontlet of Voorhis' brook, Picnnont avenne, and from that the Pres- 
byterian Sunday school has continued until now. It was somewhere 
about the time the stone church was built. Other Sunday schools fol- 
lowed and the existence of the churches to-day is owing to these nurse- 
ries of religious thought. 

The fourth church established in Nyack was the Baptist. After 
several failures they at last, in 1854, succeeded in maintaining an organ- 
ization by the efforts of Rev. Joseph W. Griifith. A society was formed 
with thirteen members and meetings were held in Union Hall, continu- 
ing for some time until the church was built, in 1856. The lot had 
been previously purcliased by Rev. J. W. Griffeth, William Miller, 
John V. Burr, William Enemy, Jeremiah Youmans and A. P. Camp- 
bell. The first jiastor was Rev. G. P. Martin. He ^ras followed in 1857 
by Rev. T. T. Devan, an eloquent preacher, who held the position for 
over five years. The third pastor was Rev. B. H. Benton, who stayed 
a year and a half. Then came Rev. Frederick Greaves, in 1865, remain- 
ing two years. He was a very earnest preacher and worker, and the 
membership gTcatly increased during that period. Next came Rev. J. 
W. Frazcr, in 1867, and R. T. Middleditch, in 1868. In 1868 Do- 
minie Greaves returned and preached imtil 1873, whicli was the only 
instance where a pastor returned to a Nyack churcli after lie had once 
left it. Mr. Greaves, a few years aftenvards, left the Baptist denomi- 
nation and entered the Episcopal, which is also the only instance of its 
kind in Nyack church history up to that date. The next pastors were 
Rev. N. B. Thompson, 1873; Rev. J. Ivennard Wilson, 1876; Rev. J. 
G. Shrive, 1877. 

During tliese years the church but slowly grew, owing to the lack 
of finances, yet many able clei'gymen seiwed its pxilpit. In 1879, how- 
ever, it awoke from its sleep as if by magic. Rev. Josiah H. Gunning, 
M. D., accepted the call to become its pastor, and during the follow- 
ing three years the congregation became too large to be accommodated 
in the small cluu'ch building. A new brick edifice was then ei'ccted. 
Never before in the history of Nyack had such success attended any 
preacher. A large addition to the membcrsliip roll lind also been 



TOWN OF ORANGETOWN. 413 

secured, which, strange to say, was even surpassed by Dr. Gunning's 
successor during the same length of time. 

After remaining about three years. Dr. Gunning resigned and the 
congregation extended a call to Rev. John L. Campbell, of Canada. 
This venture was only on the uncertainties of the judgment of one who 
gave him a "high recommendation," but it was a lucky venture, for the 
new pastor proved to be one of the most eloquent of all Nyack's pulpit 
orators and an excellent pastor. After remaining about as long as Dr. 
Gunning, he was called to the Lexington Avenue Church, New York 
city. The succeeding pastors were: Eev. Eugene E. Thomas, 1888; 
Rev. J. B. McCiillough, 1889; Rev. Edwin M. Saunier, 1892; Rev. S. 
J. Skevington, 1900.' 

As Nyack village grew in population new churches were organized, 
until at the iwesent time almost every denomination is represented. In 
18C0 the African M. E. Church was built for the colored people, through 
the assistance of John W. Towt and George Green, two of Nyack's 
wealthiest citizens. It stood on Burd street and a new and larger church 
was aftei-wards built, a short distance higher up. A Sunday school was 
also started about this time in Lower Nyack by Mrs. Hester Onderdouk, 
and in 1869 a stone chapel, costing $5,000, was dedicated and a union 
Sunday school has since been held there, with occasional preaching ser- 
vices. It is known as the Wayside Chapel. In 1861 the first Episcopal 
services were held in Nyack regularly, and in 1862 Grace Chapel was 
built through the efforts of Eev. Eranklin Babbitt, the first rector of 
the parish. About the same time Universalist meetings were held in 
Nyack and some time after 1870 a frame building was finished for them 
on Broadway. Their congregation has always remained small. The 
Rev. J. Riley Johnson served them a much longer time than any of the 
other pastors. He resigned in 1901, but continues to supply the pulpit. 

The Methodists, about in 1875, adopted the name of "St. Paul's M. 
E." They also bought a lot on Broadway for a new church. The foun- 
dation was built, but the society was unable to continue the work and 
it was sold. Some time later they purchased the property comer of 
Broadway and Division avenue and erected a chapel, with the expecta- 
tion of having a new church on the corner at some future time. 

The Episcopalians, after using their chapel several years, built a 
fine new stone church on the grounds comer of Eirst avenue and 



414 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

Franklin street, leaving the tower unfinished. Their motto was, "Pay 
as you go along," which other societies might do well to imitate. Their 
idea was to complete the tower at some future day and place chuues 
therein. At this time (1902) Rev. Franklin Babbitt is still the rector. 
.He has had assistants, among whom were: Revs. Charles Seymour, F. 
Greaves and Ralph Pomeroy. 

The Gennan Presbyterians were the seventh religious society to 
organize. They held meetings for some time imder the lead of Rev. 
A. Shabehom, and their church on Frauklin street, was built in 1889. 
Their pastors have been Rev. A. Shabehom; Gustave Schmnaker, 1888; 
Albert Wirth, 1891; A.'Pape, 1893. Their present pastor is Rev. J. 
Jenson. 

A second church society by the colored people, called the Pilgrim 
Baptist Church, has been struggling for existence a long time with hopes 
of ultimate success. They meet in a room above a blacksmith shop on 
Main street. 

The German Lutherans, under charge of Rev. Mr. Franks, started 
meeting's here soon after the German Presbyterians commenced, and 
a small house of worship was dedicated in 1898. It stands on Park 
street. Rev. H. F. R. Steeholz is the minister in'charge. 

In 1901 a Congregational Church was formed in Central Xyack by 
the society of the "West Nyack Chapel" Sunday school, after having 
regular supplies from among the clergy of the village for a long time. 
This action was taken by reason of the indisposition of the various pas- 
tors to continue the work since the death of Rev. J. A. Davis. The first 
temporary pastor was Rev. C. B. MacDuffee, and a permanent pastor 
was secured in the person of Rev. H. A. G. Abbe. 

At the present time (1902) there are eleven societies in ISTyack hav- 
ing buildings of their own and sustaining pastors; there are also two 
church societies not owning houses, but having occasional services; and 
two evangelical Sunday schools having buildings of their own. There 
is also the Christian and Missionary Alliance,with its Institiite, annual 
conventions, and gospel mecting-s in the ^'^llage. The Salvation Anny, 
too, has sojourned in the place. Truly, Xyack is a village of churches. 




ROBERT H. FENTON. 



TOWN OF CLARKSTOWN. 415 



CHAPTEE XVIII. 
TOWN OF CLARKSTOWN. 

By Robert H. Fenton. 

The town of Cl.arkstown was formed from Haverstraw on March 18, 
1701. It occiipies the east central part of the county and contains about 
thirty-six square miles, or 24,091 acres, nearly all tillable land, with a 
water front on the Hudson of over five miles. It is bounded on the north 
by Haverstraw township; on the east by the Hudson river; on the south 
by Orangetown, and on the west by Ramapo. The surface of the town 
is hilly for the most part \vith some swamp lands and streams of water 
'vvinding' through and emptying into the Hackensack river below and in 
the Sparkill creek at Piermont. The Hackensack river has its main 
source in Rockland Lake, in this township, and gradually widens as it 
flows south, being fed by smaller streams. The principal villages are 
Vf est Nyack, Upper Nyack, Central Nyack, Nanuet, New City, Congers 
and Rockland Lake. There are also a number of smaller villages, ham- 
lets and neighborhoods known as Valley Cottage, Bardonia, Strawtown, 
Centenary, Quasbec, the Dutch Factory, Mosestown and Snedeker's 
Landing. 

A small portion of the township seems geogTaphically set apart 
from the rest, and that is the incorporated district of Upper Nyack, 
being bounded on the west by the mountains that wind around from 
Verdreitege toward the Nyack turnpike and lying along the river. This 
extends about one mile and a half in length and half a mile back from 
the shore. Sheltered from the cold Avinds of winter the Nyack Indians, a 
small chieftaincy akin to the Tappan tribe at the time of the discovery, 
had their "long house," or village, here, while their trails led in various 
directions, and particularly along the bank of the river, south. The In- 
dians have also left signs in other parts of Clarksto-mi of their occupancy, 
by the stone implements found on the sand hills along the Hackensack 
and elsewhere. These relics have mostly been gathered and yet, no 
doubt, there are many still to be found hidden under the soil. They con- 
sist of stone axes, tomihawks, corn-crackei-s, hammer stones, scrapei-s. 



416 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

pieces of pottery, fragments of ccremomal stones, club balls, spear and 
arrow heads, and numberless other stones which puzzle experts as to the 
particular use for which they were fashioned. 

The town derives its name from a family of the old settlers who 
came within its present limits in the earliest years of the white men's 
permanent occupancy. These were three brothers of the de Clcrque 
family — Jacob, Daniel and Peter — who came to this country from 
France and settled in New Holland (now New York city) in about the 
year 1625 or 1630. The three brothers came to this county in 1686 and 
purchased land which is now a large part of Clarkstown. It is recorded 
that a party of five, among whom was Daniel DeClark, purchased the 
lower part of the Kakiat patent. In 1716 DeClark's property was di- 
vided and part of it sold. At one of these sales, held in 1764, the prop- 
erty is described as being in Clarkstown. This is the earliest record 
found in which the name of Clarkstown appears. 

The orthogi'aphy of the family name gradually changed with each 
succeeding generation. First from de Clerque, which is pure French, to 
De Clerck; then to De Clark, and in later years some of the descendants 
left off the De altogether and brought it do\vn to the plain and simple 
name of Clark. 

Several of the eai-ly land grants covered portions of Clarksto^vn. 
One was the extensive Kakiat patent; another the Quaasbeck or Pond 
patent, and the Lancaster Symes tract, and besides these more extensive 
ones, others of the Holland pioneers extended their possessions into 
Clarkstown. The second purchase by Harmaunus Dows reached over 
the hills, and so did the real estate ventures of Capt. Comelison Claessen 
Kuyper, the son of Claus Jansen, who bought the firet land in ISTyack. 

The descendants of the Clark family were not very numeroiis there- 
after and other names prevailed throughout the township. In about the 
year 1800 the Smiths, who were descendants of Lammert Anentse, took 
the lead of any others in number; next to these came the Blauvelts, 
whose ancestors spelled their name Gerritson when they landed, and the 
Tallmans. The Blauvelts and the Tallmans were about even in number. 
The name of Onderdonk ranked foiu-th, closely followed by the Polhe- 
mus' and the Vanderbilts. The names of Stevens, or Stephens, and Van 
Houten came next in order. 



TOWN OF CLARKSTOWN. 417 

Among the most prominent pereons who have lived in CIarksto\vn 
within the last half centniy were Hon. Hugh Maxwell, Collector of the 
Port, whose daiighter eloped with Gen. Phil. Kearney ; Hon. Abram P. 
Stephens, Kockland's only Member of Congress for many years; Hon. 
Moses G. Leonard, of the Knickerbocker Ice Co. ; Hon. Abram B. Con- 
ger, State Senator; Col. Edward Pye, County Judge, killed at battle of 
Cold Harbor; John McGinnis, the founder of Congers; William F. 
Eraser, County Judge, and Capt. Wilson Defendorf, who served in the 
Rebellion. In earlier times Sheriff Ebenezar Wood was a leading and 
useful citizen of the town for many years; and Daniel Harmanus Blau- 
velt, whose religious zeal and original methods as an evangelist are so 
well described in Dr. Cole's genealogical record. These all belong to 
the past. Of the more notable citizens of a later date we shall not at- 
tempt to name lest many omissions may be made, unintentionally, of 
those who feel they deser\'e a place in the list. Siiffice to say the fami- 
lies of Demarest, Haring, Hutton, Bogert, Blauvclt and DeBevoise are 
among those who have produced many prominent and useful citizens and 
l^ublic officials. 

During the last fifty years the Germans have established themselves 
throughout Clarkstown in large numbers. The most noteworthy of those 
from Northern Europe have been Gen. Louis Blenker, who ser\'ed in the 
Eebollion; Major Christian Deitszh, Elorent Verdin, a native of France; 
Rudolph Lexow, a journalist, and his son, Hon. Clarence Lexow. 

In the various wars in which our nation has been engaged — the Rev- 
olution, the war of 1812, the gTeat Rebellion and the Spanish-Amcric^an 
war — the town of Clarkstown has always furnished her just proportion 
of recniits, not alone in response to the call t« diity, but with patriotic 
zeal and enthusiasm, and in sacrifice, as the memorial records show. 
ClarkstoAvn during the Revolution was so situated as to escape the more 
stirring scenes enacted in the adjoining towns. The most important 
events were the passing of American troops back and forth. Along the 
old King's Highway, between Haverstraw and Tappan, are the foot- 
prints of gTeat men — from Washington and Lafayette down to those 
local heroes whose homes were hereabouts, and who were constantly on 
the alert for the advance of British forces and the doing's of the more 
detestable tories infesting the lower part, of the county. Thei-e were a 
number of skinnishes in various parts, several of which were on the river 



418 HISTORY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY. 

front at Upper ISTyack and Rockland Lake, in wliicli the British were 
Leaten off in their attempts to land for the pnqiose of pillage. 

In the passing of troops along the King's Highway through the town 
there was one scene that invites particular notice. It was when the un- 
fortunate Major Andre, in the custody of a squad of cavalry, was riding 
from Stony Point to Tappan. He had just been questioning Major Tall- 
mage as to what would be done with him as a prisoner, and it had been 
intimated to him that his fate would be that of a spy. No wonder then 
that his heart sank and his thoughts were troubled as he journeyed 
silently along the remainder of tlie route and that he failed to appreciate 
the glories of the early autumn as the golden leaves were beginning to 
blend with the amaranth of the surroimding landscape. 

During these years of the Revolution the people were in constant 
fear of depredations from the enemy. Various incidents might be told 
of raids in which cattle were driven off, and where patriots unable to 
offer resistance were earned away prisoners. On one of these occasions, 
Dec. 14, 1777, a party from an armed vessel landed at Slaughter's Land- 
ing (Rockland Lake) and came as far as "Snedeker's pond" before a suf- 
ficient force could be brought together to drive them back. They plun- 
dered the house of Abraham Thew and canied him away prisoner with 
several others; and also drove away some cattle, which they killed on 
the shore and took out to the vessel. 

Another incident relates to Adrian Onderdonk, who lived a mile 
north of Nanuet, (on the place owned later by his great-grandson, John 
'N. Gesner). One day while home Mr. Onderdonk saw a troop of cavalry 
riding rapidly down the road towards his house. They were clothed in 
that kind of suit introduced by Cromwell into the English army, and so, 
of course, they were supposed to be a squad of British "red coats." On- 
derdonk did not stop to risk capture but darted out of the door and sped 
with hot haste down to the swamp west of the house. The hoi"semen 
oarae iip to the barnyard gate, which was fastened by a rope. The leader 
drew his sword and cut it and the gate swung open and they rode in. 
"Who lives here?" cried a gruff voice. Mrs. Onderdonk came ovit and 
told them. "Who was that man we saw running away just now?" the 
leader asked. "That was my husband," replied the woman. "Is he for 
the King's cause or a rebel?" continued the leader. "He is for his coun- 
try's liberties," exclaimed Mrs. Onderdonk, fearlessly. "Then what did 



TOWN OF CLARKSTOWN. 419 

lie want to run for," said the leader, with an oath to emphasize his 
words, and the party rode away as fast as they had come. It proved 
to he a number of patriots clad in uniforms captured from the British. 

Onderdonk afterward participated in the Eattle of Stony Point, 
and while absent his bam was visited by Tories, who stole harness and 
other articles. 

In the war of 1812 the militia law was such that eveiy able bodied 
man belonged to that branch of service; and Clarkstowii, therefore, fur- 
nished a larger number for defense according to its population, than in 
any other war. The company to which they belonged was commanded 
by Captain Jacob I. Blauvelt, of the S3rd Regunent, N. G. S. M. This 
company, numbering seventy-one men, met at Blauveltville, September 
3rd, 1814, and marched to Piermont, where they embarked on a sloop 
for ISTew York. They passed most of their time in camji at Harlem 
Heights, until they were discharged, November 29th, 1814. 

When the war with Mexico commenced a company of cavalry was 
formed, in which this town took a leading part. It wa